Minority Report

Numbers 13:31-32 “But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.’ And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored….”

Is it easier for you to believe good news or bad news? Are you likely to throw in your lot with whatever the experts say? Do you bank more on what is seen than unseen? Israel suffered greatly because they failed to believe a very important “minority report.”

Moses had sent twelve spies to survey the territory God promised to give Israel after exiting Egypt. All twelve men reported on the incredible fruitfulness of the land. It flowed with milk and honey, just as God said.  But that’s where the agreement ended.  Ten spies assessed it would be impossible for the fledgling nation to conquer the giants who inhabited the land. Two spies, Joshua and Caleb, declared since God was with them, they could take out the giants. Sadly, their “minority report” fell on deaf ears. In fact the whole assembly wanted to stone them! Israel’s refusal to listen to Joshua and Caleb resulted in 40 miserable years of trudging through the desert.

Sometimes the prognosticators and experts get it flat wrong. Everything from the weather to athletic events to political outcomes. Professionals—from doctors to counselors—make their best assessments as to whether certain individuals have a chance of “making it.” Many times their evaluations prove to be accurate, but we all know of instances where people outlived or outperformed the most dire predictions.

Negative reports flood our current culture. Some polls indicate as few as 21% of Americans believe the next generation will be better off than the present one. Reports of hope and optimism on almost every front seem rare. We are becoming a nation of pessimists, making it difficult to believe anything that lies outside the grid of skepticism.

But believers in Christ, take heart! We don’t have to accept anything at face value. Our unseen God remains the God of the impossible. Let’s transfer all our confidence to him. Let’s be like the two faithful spies and not cater to any human perception that limits God. Whatever battle we face, let’s listen to God’s report first, not man’s…even if it puts us in the minority.

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