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Spying out the Land.

 
"And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
  And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."
Numbers 13:32 -33
 
Hymns:  20  Abba Father    664  I Am Praying for You!
Bible Reading  Numbers 14:1 - 25.
Numbers chapter 13 gives an account of the 12 spies, one for each tribe, who were sent into the land of Israel to check on its fortifications, soil, crops, forests etc. and bring back an accurate report. There is a record of the huge cluster of grapes they found in Eschol. Eschol means "cluster".  They spent forty days scouting the land they seem have returned undetected, which was amazing, but they were not united, which was trouble in the making.
Caleb and Joshua gave a glowing and favourable report and exhorted that they go over at once to possess it. The 10 spies reported on the giants of Anak, and advised that the land was too well fortified and would prove to be too difficult to conquer. They concluded that they were not able to go up and take the land.  
Caleb and Joshua reported nothing about giants; they saw them as grasshoppers, for they were looking through the eyes of faith in their Almighty God. The other ten spies saw themselves as grasshoppers in the eyes of the giants for they were looking through own eyes -- through the lens of unbelief.    
Numbers chapter 14 begins with the results of the report of the ten evil spies.  It is really a damage report on the men's unbelief.
1. THE EFFECTS OF AN EVIL REPORT  v 1 - 4
All the facts were the same in the two reports. The difference was a matter of attitude  Two observed through the eyes of faith; ten through the eyes of unbelief.  In reality it was amazing unbelief among the ten who reported negatively, and such unbelief that it provoked the Lord.  See v11  "How long will it be ere they believe me."
The attitude and statements of unbelief did serious harm to the people of God.  Verses 1 - 4 reveal the damage:
[1] Weeping  -  out of fear.  v1.
[2] Murmuring  - a great sin.   See Prov. 6:16 -19.  
[3] Capitulation to Egypt.  v 2 -4
[4] Rebellion to the call and providence of God. v 4
We need to learn that unbelief wrecks our usefulness to God and will throw us into a path of rebellion.  They lived ignoring the history of all that God had done for them since their slavery in Egypt.  They denied the miracles of God in their favour and plotted a path that was impossible.  To got back to Egypt after the death of Egypt's armies, would be suicide. For the Christian there is no way back to serve the world.  You are spoiled for slavery to this world.  Your only course is to trust the One who has saved you and kept you 'till this hour.
2. THE LEADERSHIP REQUIRED AGAINST AN EVIL REPORT
[1] Humility and brokenness in demonstrating error v5.  Moses and Aaron were showing that it was wrong to go back to Egypt.
[2] Honest reporting  v 6 -7  By Caleb and Joshua   "its an exceeding good land."  - It is worth the battle.
[3] Faith in God's good pleasure.  v8  "if the Lord delight in us."
[4] Warnings of folly in fear   v9  "They are bread for us."  Means they are a piece of Cake!
[5] Focused on the help of the Lord v9a  "Their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not."
Apply each of these things to our attitudes and leadership in the face of the difficulties we face. 
Pray that we will have the strong faith that is required to give this kind of leadership.  God's will is always best and always the right thing to do, even in the face of strong opposition.  If you are sure of God's will, do it, and do it looking unto the Lord for His help.
Pray against a spirit of unbelief that will turn you into a murmurer. Ask for eyes of faith to see things through the eyes of God.  Anything that leaves God out of the equation is unbelief.  Pray that you be a Caleb Christian or a Joshua believer to see the good plan and purposes of God set over against the obstacles of life.
Christians are to have the mind of Christ.  To do this, we need to be delivered from worldly thinking and submit to God's revealed will, which is contained in His word.
Rom 12:1  I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Announcements:

Friday 7:30p.m.  Missionary Presentation from Milos Solc, Prague, Czech Republic
Saturday 7:30 p.m.  Men's Prayer Meeting
Sunday 10:30 a.m.  Communion Service 
Thanksgiving Sunday Oct. 9.  Preacher Rev. Fletcher Matandika.  (Pastor Goligher will preach in Victoria FPC.

Prayer requests:

Last night we prayed for the Lord's presence amongst His people in our church to make it a blessing to God's people and a saving ministry to sinners.
We prayed specifically for:
Jack E. who is to have surgery on Friday. 
Florence S.  who is recuperating from past surgery.
Mrs. R. Sr. after the passing of her husband - we extend our sympathy to the whole family.
Al. R. who needs the Lord's healing and direction for treatment.
Milos Solc and his presentation on Friday with us.  
Presbytery meetings next week in Indianapolis.  Pastor Goligher and Mr. Roersma are attending.
     (If you have prayer requests please send them in or come along to our prayer meetings and make your request known.)
Remember to pray for our Victoria congregation. Mr. Milos Solc will minister there on Sunday.

See you in Church!