The Giants Won (Part 2)

I previously discussed the power of negativity, based on a story found in Numbers 13 when Moses sent 12 men to spy out the land of Canaan.  Let’s continue.
What these ten spies reported were the facts.  There was milk and honey.  There was abundant fruit.  And the people who lived there were powerful.  The descendants of Anak were giants.  The Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites were all fierce tribesmen who were brutal.  They were warriors! 
These ten spies were absolutely correct.  Ten of the spies reported on both the positive and the negative, but they got hung up on the negative!  They were amazed over the size of the grapes, but even more, they could not get over the size and power of their enemies!
The real problem here is that Israel chose to keep their eyes on the negative.  They allowed their anxieties to paralyze them.  When they heard the report from the ten, they were moved to fear.
Joshua and Caleb tried their best to curtail the negative report, but to no avail.  Fear triumphed.  “The men who had gone up with him (Caleb) said, ‘We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.’  And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored.  They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it.  All the people we saw there are of great size…” (verses 31-32).
Then fear, like a wild fire, spread quickly throughout the camp. “That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud” (Numbers 14:1).  While the ten were saying, “Did you see the size of those giants?”  Joshua and Caleb were saying, “Yes, but did you see the size of those grapes?”  Faith moves past the legitimate problems of life and causes us to claim the promises of God.
I don’t have time this morning to dissect all of Numbers 13 and 14, so I’ll pull what I believe the Lord is saying to us.
Negativity which leads to fear is dreadfully contagious.  The entire nation of Israel took the low road when faced with their enemies..  They chose to react in fear instead of act on God’s promises.  Their fear overrode their faith.  Have you ever noticed that negative reports still move people?  I’ve noticed in particular that one negative report about someone has the power to trump anything good he or she ever did?  We have the power with our words and our influence to move people into a fear mode.  And to make them focus on the negative instead of moving them toward righteous resolves. 
I’m amazed at the national fury I see in this account.  I see the same dynamic at work in our nation today.  Negative people pouring out their venom from the White House to the church house to your house! 
Our difficulties can make us feel sorry for ourselves.  And to see ourselves as less than what God created us t be.  “If only we had died in Egypt!  Or in this wilderness (Numbers 14:2b)! Or what about the assessment of the ten in 13:33:  “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” What happens is this:  We start focusing not only our problems, but the problems of others – in the wrong way.  My friends, it is one thing to encourage others in their trials and difficult circumstances; but it an entirely different matter to allow their problems to move you from faith to fear to anger, then to rebellion.   Moses warned the people, “Do not rebel against the Lord” (14:9).   Their fear-based concerns led them to blame Moses for what was out of his control. 
When problems come into our lives, we need to bind together with the community of faith like never before.  During these times, there’s nothing wrong with the church; we all face a formidable foe who has been defeated through the blood of Jesus and when God’s people bind together in faith!  There comes a time when we must elevate the promises over the problems.  Saints, let’s not fall into the same trap that Israel did.  We are stronger together than when we stand alone!  Encouragement goes much further than when we aide and abet in the negative realm.
We literally have the influence to lead one another toward fear!  And then everyone’s in a mess!  We allow fear to make us focus on the “what if’s.”  The people started borrowing trouble.  Go to the second part of verse 3:  “Our wives and children will be taken as plunder.”  They borrowed trouble!  They allowed fear to completely annihilate their faith.  They reacted instead of acted!
Sometimes we blame the Lord for what is happening in our lives – or we blame the church.  Go to verse 3.  “Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword?”  The Lord often allows circumstances to come into our lives, but never for the purpose of destroying us.  Always to reveal His glory and to perfect our good.  The people soon turned the tables and began to blame Joshua and Caleb.  Brothers and sisters, we cannot allow negativity energy to enter the house of God or our individual homes or within ourselves.  Let’s determine to build one another up in our most holy faith.  Let’s determine to make this place a house of affirmation, love, honor and faith.  We’re not perfect, but we’re in process.
Negative thinking leads only to fear and defeat.  We are “more than conquerors”
Negativity comes when we talk more about what’s wrong than we do about what’s right.  Because of this truth, the giants discussed in Numbers 13 won 10-2!
Negativity hurts marriages, churches, relationships in general.  Determine not to live in a negative vein.  Stay positive!



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