Thursday, November 22, 2012

Numbers 11-15

Today I wanted to talk a little about perspective and our outlook on different circumstance and situations.

This week's reading highlights a defining moment in the history of Israel. The Lord told Moses to send scouts to explore the promised land. This was the Israelites inheritance, what the Lord had promised them. All of the scouts agree that the land was beautiful and plentiful:

27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.

However we hear two different perspectives from the scouting party:

28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan...31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”

The majority of the scouting party brought a negative perspective about the promised land and were concerned about the people living there. However Caleb saw all of what the other scouts did but had a different perspective:

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

There are a couple of things I want to highlight about perspective:

The perspective we choose to take has a direct effect on our actions. The Israelites chose to embrace the negative perspective and as a result a generation of Israelites missed out on the promised land (Num 14:26-30). Often I have to check my own perspective on different situations I face, especially when its things I don't really enjoy doing. I find that when I choose to have a positive attitude or perspective on things, they usually turn out better than I anticipated

Another point is that I believe God is looking directly at our attitude and perspective. The Lord blessed Joshua and Caleb because of their perspective and how they trusted the Lord even though in the natural the circumstances didn't seem easy. Our actions are important to God but above all else he looks at our heart first and foremost.

Finally perspective is contagious. We see in Numbers 13 that the negative perspective spread throughout the Israelite camp. How different would the outcome have been if Caleb's attitude and perspective had spread throughout the Israelite community? Each one of us have amazing influence and our attitude and perspective are contagious. I want to spread God's perspective and attitude and give him the opportunity to be contagious and infect the people and situations around me.

Written by Philip Day