Summary: Many thanks to Leland Crawford for giving me permission to use his excellent outline. 1. Don't focus on the giants; focus on the grapes. 2. Don't focus on yourself; focus on your Savior. 3. Don't focus on your past; focus on the promises of God.
The Best Focus for Our Future
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Jan. 11, 2015
*Many thanks to Leland Crawford for giving me permission to use his excellent outline.
*About 3,400 years ago, God sent Moses to deliver the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt. The LORD had already sent the ten terrible plagues onto Egypt. The Israelites had been freed, and they had miraculously crossed the Red Sea on dry land, as God parted the waters. Moses has been on Mount Sinai to meet with the LORD and receive God's commandments for His people.
*Now, the Children of Israel were just outside of the Promised Land, and at the beginning of Numbers 13:
1. . . The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
2. "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them."
3. So Moses sent them from the Wilderness of Paran according to the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the children of Israel.
*The next thirteen verses list the twelve men by name. Then God gives us some of the details of their mission. They were to find out what the land, the cities and the people were like. They were also told to bring back some of the fruit of the land.
*Verses 25-26 tell us:
25. . . They returned from spying out the land after forty days.
26. So they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.
*With this background in mind, let's start reading in Numbers13:27.
*Most people start wearing glasses in their 40s. I started in the first grade. I had no idea how bad my eyes were, but I must had failed a vision check in school. And I can still remember riding home with my dad after I got my first pair of glasses. It was unbelievable! I could actually see the words on the signs. I could even see the leaves on the trees! I had no idea how much I had been missing.
*The right focus can make all the difference in the world. And God wants us to be people with the right focus in life. But what is the right focus for our lives? God's Word can show us today.
1. First: Don't focus on the giants; focus on the grapes.
*It is easy to focus on the negative things in life. That's what the ten wrong-thinking spies did. And we see this starting in Numbers 13:27:
27. Then they told him, and said: "We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.
28. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there.
*These ten doubters also gave a bad report in vs. 31-32:
31. But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.''
32. And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.
*In chapter 14, the Children of Israel also focused on the negative. Please look at vs. 1-2 for example:
1. Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night.
2. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, "If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!
*They focused on the negative. And it's easy for us to do the same thing. It's easy for us to focus on the negative, because there IS so much negative around us: Disasters, crime, corruption, health problems, job problems, family problems, and personal problems.
*These negative things are the giants we face. But if we focus on the negative, we will never be the people God wants us to be. And we have a choice to make: We can focus on the giants, or we can focus on the grapes.
*Joshua and Caleb focused on the grapes. In Numbers 13:30: Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.''