FAITHLESS SPIES SPREAD BAD REPORT
Sounds like a newspaper headline, doesn’t it? Much like the culture of ancient Israel, our nation also leans toward negative thinking. Why is it the big, bad and the ugly light up the headlines while beautiful uplifting stories land on the back page? I guess stories of people making a difference in this world don’t boost the ratings. Before I fall into a state of complaining myself, let’s take a look at a story that depicts the difference between good and bad reports. We will see that good reports aren’t always met with a positive response. There’s a lesson for us here, as usual. Remember as we begin this study, Israel was traveling in the wilderness searching for the land God had promised to give them.
Read each week’s passage in two or more versions of the Bible. It’s a good idea to write your answers in a notebook and then post your comments on Facebook. It will hopefully prompt a lot of good discussion from those participating. Suggestion: download an app from Bible Gateway to bring up three different versions on the screen at one time. It’s a great tool.
Read Numbers 13:1-20
1. Moses sent out twelve spies to explore Canaan, one from every tribe of Israel. What were their specific instructions in verses 18-20?
Read Numbers 13:23-33
2. What did these men show Moses and the assembly of people when they returned? What kind of report did ten of them bring back? Note how they compared themselves to the people there.
Read Numbers 14:1-4
3. Describe the response of the people, noting what they wanted to do. What had Israel once again forgotten? A note in my Bible says, “In their ingratitude, they preferred death.”
Read Numbers 14:5-10
4. Describe the good report only two spies brought to the people. What was their plea and how did the people react?
Read Numbers 14:26-34
5. Because the Lord heard the complaints of the grumbling Israelites, His punishment was severe. What did He say He would do to the the grumblers? Pay special attention to verse 28. Who was exempt from the punishment?
Personal application: What do you think about the power of our words? Is it possible that negative or positive words make a difference in what happens to us?
As you study these verses and read what others have shared, take note of who is struggling. Do you identify with their comments? As you post your own honest struggles, let that person know you understand and are praying for them. They just might pray for you. It’s what the Body of Christ is all about!
Remember, I hope you will respond and interact with me and with others on our Facebook page. May God bless us as we study and interact together around His Word.