Summary: God’s people must guard themselves from an evil report... (Credit is given to Rev Kelsey Griffin former instructor at Texas Bible College, Lufkin, TX for this Bible study is a result of notes taken while in his class. Thanks Brother Griffin!)
AN EVIL REPORT
"God’s people must guard against an evil report"
29The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
30And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
31But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
32And 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.
33And 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.
36And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
37Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
38But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.
We learned as children the little Sunday school song that says:
"Be careful little ears what you hear, be careful little ears what
you hear, for the Father up above is looking down in love, so be
careful little ears what you hear."
"Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little eyes what
you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love, so be
careful little eyes what you see."
"Be careful little feet where you go, be careful little feet where
you go, for the Father up above is looking down in love, so be
careful little feet where you go."
"Be careful little (big) mouth what you say, be careful little (big)
mouth what you say, for the Father up above is looking down in
love, so be careful little (big) mouth what you say."
This all seems to be a bit humorous, but what truth is found in this song. We find in it a great reminder of how careful we should be careful about evil reports. So, what is an ‘evil report’?
AN EVIL REPORT - (defined)
An evil report is primarily a distortion of facts, incomplete facts, and false information. The danger of an evil report comes, not necessarily in its results, but rather in its beginning. An evil report develops like a disease.
1) Through ignorance of preventative measures.
2) Exposure to infection.
4) Infection, like germs, overcome natural defenses.
5) The disease is an infection that destroys vital life-supporting functions.
STAGES OF SPIRITUAL INFECTION
1) IGNORANCE -
2 Corinthians 2:11 - Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
James 3:6 - And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Proverbs 17:9 - “Destroys friends” He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends. NKJV
Haggai 2:11-14 - "Unclean defiles."
11"Thus says the LORD of hosts: ’Now, ask the priests concerning the law, saying, 12"If one carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with the edge he touches bread or stew, wine or oil, or any food, will it become holy?" ’ " Then the priests answered and said, "No." 13And Haggai said, "If one who is unclean because of a dead body touches any of these, will it be unclean?" So the priests answered and said, "It shall be unclean." 14Then Haggai answered and said, " ’So is this people, and so is this nation before Me,’ says the LORD, ’and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean. NKJV
* Evil reports influence us to form bad opinions of each other!
* A whisperer - one who secretly or privately passes on an evil report.
* Gossip - magnifies and sensationalizes rumors.
* Slanderer - uses facts or distorted facts to destroy another’s credibility and reputation.
* Busybody - Digs up evil reports and spreads it around by means of whispering, gossip, or slander.
What motivates these things?