Whose report do you believe?
Jon takes a look at the Israelites in the Old Testament and how they responded to their situation. How should we respond to our current situation?
It’s Monday morning. It’s grey and damp outside. We’ve just about successfully navigated the first family argument at the breakfast table. I head off to prepare for the day and have a flick through the latest headlines on my phone. I scroll past the latest political scandal, read about the latest to and fro in the war in Ukraine and wonder how the cost-of-living crisis will apply to me and those I know. I flick to the business section, where they predict a decade of recession or minimal economic growth.
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes get overwhelmed by all that is going on in and around me. Recently, as I was pondering this, I felt God say to me “whose report will you believe?”. This refers to a fun song of years gone past by Ron Kenoly, where the refrain is “whose report will you believe?” and the congregation reply “we will believe the report of the Lord”.
The 12 spies
In Numbers 13, as the Israelites progress on their journey through the wilderness, they come to the Promised Land and Moses sends 12 spies into the land to scope it out and pull together their battle plan. All 12 see the same land, the same fruit (the grapes seem to have been so large, that it required 2 of them to carry a cluster of them!), the same inhabitants.
10 of the spies gave this report in v31-32, “’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.”
But Caleb said in v30, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
Whose report did they believe?
After all that God has promised, after all He had provided, after the miracles He had done, as readers, we stare in dismay. Numbers chapter 14 starts with weeping, grumbling and even desiring to turn around and go back to slavery in Egypt. Why? They believed the report that the inhabitants are too big and too scary and they can’t take the land. I find myself saying, “Noooooo, don’t believe that report!”
But whose report would I have believed? Whose report do I believe as I start my Monday morning?
I’ve realised I need to be very careful what and who I listen to. How much “news” do I take in? For every 10 voices, do I listen to the One?
Seek out the good report
It may take a little effort, but I try to seek out and feed myself with the good report. Jesus, our Saviour, our Lord, really is amazing and has provided all we need. Here are some of my favourite passages:
John 16v33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Romans 8v31-32 “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
Joshua 1v9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Whose report will you believe today?
Thank you Jon.
As a follow on to Jon’s blog post you might like to listen to Rob speaking about Standing Firm on the Truth of God’s word.