The Giants Won (part 1)

Today I want to discuss a story found in Numbers 13.  It’s a story about giants.  But first…
On October 3, 1951, third baseman Bobby Thomson hit a one-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the National League pennant for the New York Giants.  Thomson’s homer wrapped up an amazing come-from-behind run for the Giants and knocked the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Giant’s hated inter-borough rival, out of their spot in the World Series.  The Giants went on to lose the Series to the Yankees, but Thomson’s miraculous homer remains one of the most memorable moments in sports history.
“The Giants win the pennant!” radio announcer Russ Hodges howled.  “The Giants win the pennant!” “The Giants win the pennant!” He kept screaming until he lost his voice. Meanwhile, inside the Polo Grounds, pandemonium reigned.  Fans flooded the field.  Thomson took curtain call after curtain call.  People in Manhattan and Brooklyn made so many phone calls in the half-hour after Thomson’s homer that the New York Telephone nearly lost service in the two boroughs.
That happened in 1951.  The Giants also won in approximately 1440 B.C. One story was positive and revolved around sports history. The other revolved around a negative event in Biblical history. In the first story the Giants won the pennant.  In the second story, the Giants won, 10-2.  I want to talk about the power of negativity.
Background:  Moses sends out 12 spies—leaders in Israel—to explore the land of Canaan.  They are sent on a fact-finding mission.  Their orders were explicit:  “See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many.  What kind of land do they live in?  Is it good or bad?  What kind of towns do they live in?  Are they unwalled or fortified?  How is the soil?  Is it fertile or poor?  Are there trees in it or not?  Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.  So they went up…”(Numbers 13:18-21a).    The 12 spies returned to Moses following a 40-day exploration.
In verses 26-38 these men deliver their report.  The vote was 10-2.  Ten were negative and fearful and only two responded in faith.  Ten were moved by what they saw and their responses spilled over into the entire nation.  Confusion and pandemonium broke out in the camp because of the power of a negative report (evil in KJV).  It reached epic proportions in nothing flat.  Fear, brought on by negativity, swept through the camp like a wild fire in drought-ridden California. 
I believe the enemy still uses negative people and negative reports in today’s world – even in churches – to thwart the move of God.  In today’s story, negative reports caused the nation of Israel to render null and void the promises of God.  The people became reactive instead of proactive.
Go ahead saints.  Listen to the news.  Be informed.  But pull back when your spirit becomes heavy.   Don’t allow the influx of negative reporting to rob you of your faith and to move you into the arena of fear.  The cause and effect of negativity can produce a ground swell of emotion that produces spiritual setback and loss.
I spend my days listening to people.  Some time ago, I sat in a room where several siblings took turns editorializing on current events and the news of the day.  They were all Christ-followers.  But the longer it went on, the more negative it became.  By the end of the conversation, everyone in that room lost their faith and in conclusion one said, “Where is God in all of this mess?”  They literally talked themselves into defeat!
Do you understand their progression from faith to fear?  Six family members sitting around the bedside of their loved one, who literally participated in a feeding frenzy, where faith was replaced with fear.  And then I heard, “Where’s our church is all this mess?” Negative thinking usually leads us to question the wrong source.  The enemy of our soul wants us to turn our thoughts in the wrong directions.
Let me remind you:  We live in a fallen world where “negativity” gets the press! Let’s determine to join ranks with the Joshua and Caleb generation!  “And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them.  Their protection is gone but the Lord is with us.  Do not be afraid of them” (14:9).
If we understand what a negative perspective of life does to us, we will most assuredly want to join ranks with those who refuse to be pulled into the arena of negative living.  Perspective is everything!
Here’s the report brought to Moses by ten of the spies.  Remember, God’s will is not necessarily revealed by majority vote.  Here’s what they reported:
“The ten gave Moses this account:  We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey.  Here is its fruit.  But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large.  We even saw descendants of Anak there.  The Amalekites…Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites…and the Canaanites live there…” (verses 27-29) 
 Understand something.  The problem here is not their assessment of the situation.  They reported what they saw. They did not exaggerate the situation.  My friends, Faith never denies reality.  Faith never harbors a delusion.  Faith hits reality head on!  Faith wins the victory over fear!  Remember, you do not have to pray for victory.  In Christ Jesus, you already have victory.  Saints, let’s determine to walk in the victory that’s already ours!



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