Summary: To lead the people to understand how to avoid focusing on their fear, but concentrate on the positives we have in Christ.
The Twelve Spies – Numbers 13-14
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand how to avoid focusing on their fear, but concentrate on the positives we have in Christ.
Illustration:Where our Captain bids us go,
’Tis not ours to murmur no;
He that gives the sword and shield
Chooses too the battlefield
Where we are to fight the foe.
2. Explanation of the Aim: God expects obedient Christians to walk not by fear but by faith. The Bible promises, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:7) When the scouts went into the promised-land they could not stop focusing on the reasons why conquering the land seemed humanly impossible. When the reported back to Moses they said, “The people living there are powerful and their cities and towns are fortified and very large… We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are! So they spread discouraging reports about the land among the Israelites.” (Numb. 13:28,31,32) Whenever you are facing difficult challenges remember that the things that are impossible with men are possible with God. (Luke 1:37) Learn to focus on all the positive power, perspectives and promises we have in Christ instead of allowing your fears to hinder you from moving forward in God’s will.
3. The Bible Story: Caleb and Joshua represented the minority viewpoint that is often not listened to, but truth has a way of accomplishing God’s purposes. Never be discouraged when the human or circumstantial odds are against you.
Believe and obey what God is directing you to do and He will see that everything is taken of. When the ten spies spread rumors of the human impossibility of conquering the “giants” in the promised land, most people complained to Moses that they would rather be back in the security of Egypt. Grumbling against Godly leaders is a sin. We can take confidence in the truth that God gives us in His word and through His Spirit. Place your confidence in the character of God knowing He is always true to His word, His promises and His kingdom’s purposes.
4. Consider how some people are afraid of many things that tends to hinder the growth of their faith. Ask the people what are some of the things that tend to be afraid of? Find out what are some of ways that fear tends to hinder the growth of faith? Ask the people what are some of ways that fear tends to confuse the truth of God’s word? Find out what the people understand 2 Timothy 1:7 to mean? The BIBLE STORY teaches the people how God uses people like Joshua and Caleb who inspired others to exploits of faith instead of the ten scouts who spread negative reports that caused fear to spread throughout their community. Teach the people how to live more by faith than by fear.
5. Are you more likely to speak like the ten scouts or like Joshua and Caleb? Find out if the people tend to lose their confidence in God when they feel like they are in the minority? Ask the people how they can follow the faith of people like Joshua and Caleb in their daily lifestyle, relationships and activities. Discuss how to base decisions more on faith in the facts of God’s word rather than on feelings.
6. Ask the people what are some of the things that tend to be afraid of? Find out what are some of ways that fear tends to hinder the growth of faith? Ask the people what are some of ways that fear tends to confuse the truth of God’s word? Find out what the people understand 2 Timothy 1:7 to mean? How does this verse relate to the faith and courage of Joshua and Caleb?
7. The Bible Story
The success of our lives is determined by the choices we make. The ten scouts chose to focus on the difficult challenges ahead of the people of Israel. In contrast, Joshua and Caleb chose to focus on God, His promises and His directives. Our lesson teaches us the importance of avoiding the human tendency to seek for circumstantial assurances that we will enjoy success before embarking on God’s pathway. When the Lord sends us to do a job He expects us to go with the full confidence that His purposes will be accomplished regardless of the situational difficulties. Instead of asking, “I wonder what my friends would say about this situation?” It is far better to ask yourself the question, “What does God have to say about my circumstance?” When you do what the Lord tells you to do it matters very little what others think. Many times the majority opinion of people runs contrary to the will of God. Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind through the transforming power of the Spirit teaching you from His word.