READ: Numbers 14-15
THINK: God's kingdom is not a democracy. The majority doesn't determine the kingdom's course and popular opinion doesn't rule. For this we should be eternally grateful, because the views, opinions and actions of sinful human beings are completely contrary to God's Word, and the end result of what seems right to people is spiritual death (Proverbs 14:12). And yet, God does give us all the freedom of choice, and it's up to us whether we follow the crowd down a wide road to destruction or follow Christ on a narrow path toward ultimate life. Only as we trust and obey God will we begin to see things from God's perspective, inspiring bold faith and revealing victorious reward.
RESPOND: Why do you think that Joshua's and Caleb's view differed drastically from the other explorers? What advice did they give the people, and why? What does this situation reveal about popular opinion and how we should evaluate and respond to it? (See 14:6 note.) How can faith in God change our perspective? (See 14:6 note.) How were Joshua and Caleb risking their lives by taking a stand (14:10), and what example do they set for us? What was at the heart of Israel's rebellion? (See 14:11 note.) What was Moses' main concern through all of this? (See 14:13 note.) Does God's forgiveness eliminate all consequences of people's sin? Why or why not? (See 14:20 note.) How did the Israelite's past experiences make their attitude all the more unbelievable? (See 14:29 note.) How would God reward Joshua and Caleb for their faithfulness (14:30)? In light of the failed attempt to take part of the promised land, what can you learn about the connection between trust and obedience? (See 14:43 note.) Why do you think God continually reminded Israel, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God"?
PRAY: Pray for strength to resist popular opinion and stand up to the crowd-regardless of the cost-when people press you to defy God. Pray that God will increase your faith as He helps you see things from His perspective.
ACT: Perhaps you've sensed God directing you to take a bold step at school, work or home. Maybe He wants you to strike up a friendship or conversation with someone who is hurting, alienated or searching for answers. Does He want you to start a new ministry or outreach. Maybe God simply wants you to carry your Bible or pray for someone. Trust and obey God by taking a deliberate step in that direction.
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