Summary: Moses commanded thirteen men to go see what the Promised Land was like (Numbers 13-14). For forty days they spied on the Promised Land and its inhabitants. They departed with the same instructions, but they returned with conflicting accounts. How could
Sherwood Baptist Church has one of the most dynamic media ministries of any church in America. They have produced Facing the Giants, arguably the best feature-length movie ever made by a local church. It’s a God-glorifying, excellently created sports film in the tradition of Hoosiers, Remember the Titans, and Friday Night Lights. Facing the Giants is being released by Sony/Goodwyn and will be in theaters on September 29th.
Accompanying the movie are numerous sermons by such leaders at Johnny Hunt of Woodstock Baptist Church, Michael Catt, Pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church, and Dr. Jay Strack of the Student Leadership Network. You may copy and paste the following links to access these sermons:
1. Evidence of Christian Growth (Johnny Hunt)
2. Overcoming The Grasshopper Syndrome (Dr. Jay Strack)
3. Faith to Face Your Impossibilities (Michael Catt)
4. Hearing God When You’re Hurting (Michael Catt)
5. It’s Always Too Soon to Quit (Michael Catt) URL:
6. What Does It Mean to Live By Faith? (Ron Dunn)
7. Will a Man Serve God for Nothing? (Ron Dunn)
Also, a study curriculum that accompanies the movie may be downloaded at:
Overcoming The Grasshopper Syndrome
Moses commanded thirteen men to go see what the Promised Land was like (Numbers 13-14). For forty days they spied on the Promised Land and its inhabitants. They departed with the same instructions, but they returned with conflicting accounts. How could this happen?
Note that twelve of the men were each from a different tribe, thus each was from a different background. Each man reported not only what was, but also his opinion of what was. Moses did not ask, “Should we obey God and take the land?” Yet they reacted immediately with negative complaints.
Joshua and Caleb carried in proof of the land’s bounty. The grapes were so heavy that one branch had to be carried “between two of them on a pole.” Here is a summary of the attitudes of the followers:
· The “I’m scared, let’s not try it” attitude: “It truly flows with milk and honey….Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large” (Num. 13:27-28).
· The “I already know I can’t do it” viewpoint: “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we” (Num. 13:31).
· The grasshopper syndrome: “We saw the giants…and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight” (Num. 13:33).
But here is what the leaders had to say:
· The heart of vision: “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it” (Num. 13:30).
· The heart of faith: “If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey” (Num. 14:8).
After these controversial summations were presented to the people, which attitude do you suppose they adopted? The negative or the positive? You guessed it! The negative is just so much easier to accept.
· First they cried, though there was nothing yet to cry about. “So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night” (Num. 14:1).
· Next they complained. “If only we had died in Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness” (Num. 14:2)
· This led to imagining the worst possible scenario. “Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims?” (Num. 14:3a).
· Finally, they just gave up. “Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” (Num. 14:3b).
What a bunch of whining cowards! God had already delivered them from bondage and then saved their lives through 100 percent, grade-A miracles. How quickly they forgot! All they could see was their own small abilities, and so they called themselves grasshoppers – just helpless insects.
The giants they feared were not the only ones destroying their hopes. In truth they were the giants of selfishness and poor self-image. These qualities lived within their own hearts and kept them from entering into God’s promise of abundance. These same powerful mammoths still control the hearts of people today.
What they were saying in essence was, “Look, this just doesn’t work for us. You guys might want to go on over to the new land, but we think it’s too hard. We’re just not willing to sacrifice. We’re staying here, and if that doesn’t work for you, well, tough!”
J. Oswald Chambers defines selfishness as “that which gives me pleasure without considering Jesus Christ’s interests.” I think the key word in that definition is pleasure. As infants, our security blanket was usually close by for comfort. Unhappiness could be easily quelled by sucking our thumb. It was easy and instant gratification. Growing up we look for more sophisticated pleasure and security – some of it noble and memorable, some of it we would rather forget. “If it feels good, do it” was a popular phrase before AIDS began to destroy lives. Janet Jackson echoed the attitude of many teens in her song, “What have you done for me lately?” Porno movie shops are often referred to as “pleasure houses.” Magazines offer hints on what to do when you need sex to satisfy lust. And the number-one reason for divorce today – “I just wasn’t happy.” We have become a generation ruled by our lusts and passions.