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.
8 thoughts on “Lesson 5 – A Thankful Heart”
1. Bring the fruit of the land
2. They brought back the bounty fruit of the Land – Pomegranates – Grapes – Figs. The land flowed with milk and honey.
3. The people wanted to go back to Egypt – They forgot GOD and what HE has done for them – How this is like us today – we always forget what GOD has done and we start complaining about things – MY MY we are always complaining about everything – this is something that we should STOP doing each day of our lives.
4. GOD would bring them through and give them many blessings.
5. The people who complained so much their bodies were left in the wilderness – those who were exempt was the age of 20 years and younger – GOD was with them and took care of them.
In our personal lives we should stop complaining and us the BIBLE and positive words in our lives – this would make such a great difference in our lives – lest we forget all of the good things GOD has done for us and the many MIRACLES HE has given us – we should be THANKING and PRAISING HIM at all times – let us try to remember these things.
Such a wonderful lesson for all of us in our lives – sure does make me want to THANK GOD for everything – even the little trials that some of us go through each day – let us look on the bright side of things from now on. Such a wonderful lesson – Karen – I am really enjoying the lessons so much – GOD bless U.
I agree, Odella, that we need to stop complaining and start thanking God, as well as use positive words of faith. It’s so important to remember what He has done for us in the past, and go forward in faith believing that He is able to do more than what we can even imagine or ask Him to do. Thanks for taking part in this study. You are a blessing!
Whenever I read about the Israelites, I always wonder why they forgot so easily what God had done for them! But then I look at myself, I do the same thing. I have been trying not to complain and be thankful in everything. I have so many things to be thankful for. As I was praying this morning and asking God for a financial miracle, I was reminded of so many He has already done for me. He has restored my marriage (twice)! I have 4 daughters I thought I would never have! Those are just a few of he big ones. So I am going to speak some truth into my situation. God is in control of this financial situation and He has already worked it out for our good! I am thankful that I don’t have to worry about it! I am going to watch as He shows His glory in my circumstance. Amen. Thank you Karen for this study it is perfect timing for me. :)
Hi Dawn, so glad you joined in! I love how God works. His timing is perfect! He knows what we need. I love how you are thanking God for your marriage and your daughters. I remember when you longed for children. You are choosing to thank God as you make petition for a financial miracle. God is Sovereign, in control of your situation and as you continue to seek Him, thank Him, and speak words of truth over your circumstances, He will provide everything you need for life and godliness. I pray for God’s blessings to be outpoured on you. Thanks for sharing your heart.
Wow this study is a real encouragement and blessing! As I studied this week The Lord showed me that He DOES get tired of our complaining and he DOES punish sinful acts of disobedience. Our disobedience not only effects us but it effects those in our families and friends and so does God’s punishment! So to me I need to apply thankfulness and gratitude to The Lord. REMEMBER what HE HAS DONE for me. It is easy to point the finger at the Israelites and shake your head over their continual grumbling and complaining…God had provided a land that He had already told them they possessd and had provided them water, food, and guided them day and night…yet they were trusting in what the 10 spys were telling them because the spys were not looking to God but looking at the obstacles that the land presented to them. Moses pleas with God to pardon them because of GOD’S GREAT MERCY! Not because of who they were… BUT BECAUSE OF WHO HE HIS!! I love that! It is only by God’s great mercy and grace WE are forgiven. And yet after Moses had told the Israelites their punishment they mourned and decided to fight for the land…they recognized their sin but the consequences of sin are not always taken away even though by God’s grace he forgives! May I “be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus!” 1 Thess. 5:16-18
You hit it the nail on the head, Anita, when you said complaining affects our families and friends. Our words are powerful and can change our circumstances for the better if we choose to speak the truth instead of our fears. You said Israel looked at the obstacles and the bad reports the unbelieving ten brought to them instead of trusting in the God who had met their every need. Thanks for bringing out that Moses prayed God would pardon them because of His great mercy not because of who they were. It’s all about who God is! Good thoughts here! Thanks for joining in our study.
Hi Karen! I am starting to catch up on my reading :) WOW! This lesson was for me, TODAY! Maybe God has delayed my reading for a reason. It is so easy to embrace the present when it is here and fruitful but when tomorrow comes with a new set of circumstances we need to cling to grace instead of groveling and grumbling. The passage that rings true, “In their ingratitude, they preferred death,” hits the nail on the head for me today. I have a choice. I am so THANKFUL for that choice! Thank you for sharing this bible study with all of us!
I’m thrilled you’re catching up, Kristi! I just love God’s timing. He knows exactly what we need at the right moment. That’s another reason in itself for us all not to grumble and complain. It seems it’s all about trusting Him. I am learning that more and more every day myself. I am being made more aware of how the choice to complain or criticize is put in front of me constantly. Perhaps that awareness is step one to gaining victory in the days ahead. Glad we’re on this journey together and can encourage one another to cultivate that grateful heart.