Numbers 13:25-33 (Part 2) – Remember High School Where Rumors Became Truth…

Posted: September 2, 2016 in 04-Numbers
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Numbers 13:25-33 (Part 2 of 2)

The Scouting Report

Have you noticed lately that the herd mentality has taken over America? It no longer matters if you are right or wrong about something as long as you are in sync with the feelings of those with the loudest voices. Just think about the riots that have taken place in the past couple of years. Cities have burned because the proper reaction to a police shooting is to loot and pillage the business district of your city. Then, national pundits justify destruction of property of people who had nothing to do with the shooting as OK because of said shooting. And, think about this whole transgender bathroom thing in North Carolina. It all started with a city council in Charlotte, the largest city in the state, deciding that because of the needs of 1% of the population that we should all abide by their gender identity needs. Then, the rest of the state through the state legislature reacted to that extremely liberal position by passing a state law that would supersede the local, municipal law. Then, the firestorm began. Because one person or group thought it fashionable to say they were not coming to the Tar Heel State because of the state law, everybody joins in from Bruce Springsteen to Bryan Adams to conventions and so on. Often, these people had no clue about the background or reasons for the state law but simply wanted to garner public opinion.


Another example, even though I am a Republican, is the disaster that has become our party’s nomination this election year. Even though it is abundantly clear that Donald Trump, particularly as he has aged into his 70’s, is such an egomaniac that is too dangerous of a hothead and is in the game just for the popularity prize to be President, the herd mentality took over there as well. America is in love with celebrity and that is the only reason that Trump is where he is today. It is not because he is the best candidate from our party (that distinction belonged to Marco Rubio), but rather the herd saw the celebrity and jumped on Trump’s bandwagon because it was the cool thing to do. It did not matter that Trump had no policies and it did not matter that his debates were like the watching a child in an argument, “I know you are…but what am I” filled with name calling, half-truths, and outright lies and reversals of positions previously taken (even within the debate itself). Clinton will win the presidential race and it’s nobody’s fault but our own as party.


Now, we have the newest example of the herd mentality with Colin Kaepernick, the former starting quarterback, now the 2nd string quarterback, of the San Francisco 49ers professional football team. He decides, because of his recent conversion to Islam not to long after getting into a serious relationship with his new girlfriend, a Muslim, that all of sudden America is an oppressive place and will not stand for the national anthem. Although he lives in an exclusive home in an exclusive neighborhood and currently is the midst of five year, $19 Million contract that he is oppressed and will not stand for our country’s national anthem at recent football games. Although he, prior to this year, had no issue with that. Although he takes his paychecks to the bank and cashes every one of them that results from a society that felt he was special enough to deserve $19 Million over five years, he is oppressed. What happens, the herd mentality takes over. Now, there are multiple equally oppressed millionaire football players who are now not standing for the national anthem. And, you can see where this is headed. Eventually, we will not have the national anthem played at professional football games because it might offend the football players. They are an oppressed lot, you know, where as a benchwarmer with no hopes of making the field you still make a minimum salary is $450,000 per year. I would sit on the bench and be the biggest non-playing football uniformed wearing cheerleader you ever saw for that minimum wage. This is a non-issue that will be made into an issue because no one will stand up to the herd mentality and risk being ridiculed for not being liberal and free thinking.


Our nation has become like high school. Remember, high school! Where reputations can be ruined in a day. Where a lie becomes truth because that is what the crowd believes. Remember, girls with good reputations one day are considered whores the next because the rumor mill is taken as fact. Remember, guys being labeled as homosexual and that being held as true in the court of public opinion whether it is true or not. That is the nation that we have become. Truth no longer matters but rather the popularity of the things that we want to believe to be true whether it is true or not.


The herd mentality and Caleb standing up and shouting against the wind is what I thought of this morning as I read Numbers 13:25-33, for the second and final time this morning. Let’s read it together now:


25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 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. 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.”


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.”


31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”


Imagine Caleb standing before the crowd, knowing that he is right, voicing what was now becoming an unpopular opinion. Caleb was willing to take the unpopular stand so as to be in compliance with what God had commanded him to do. To be effective when you go against the crowd, you must have the facts (Caleb had seen the land himself), have the right attitude (Caleb trusted God’s promise to give Israel the land), and state clearly what you believe (Caleb said, “We can CERTAINLY conquer it!”).


Where are you men of courage? Where are you, the Calebs of the world? Why do we live in fear of the herd? Let us stand on God’s Word and God’s promises rather than bend to the herd mentality of the moment. Let us not compromise ourselves to meet the needs of the crowd for the moment before they move on to the next thing oh so important cause de jour. Let us be willing to be unpopular. Let us stand up in the high school lunchroom of public opinion and tell the truth even when it is unpopular. I am not saying that we take the bomb the clinic mentality which is just as wrong as the herd mentality of intolerant tolerance that is so prevalent today but we must have the courage to stand up and say the herd is wrong when we know they are wrong. We must have voice and not silence. We must be willing to rely on God’s power to protect when we voice an opinion backed by the truth of God as stated in His Word and rely on His protection.


Let us be a people that stands against the herd because we believe in the eternal truth of God rather than compromising to the crowd and being quiet when we know we should speak. Thank you Caleb for showing us your wisdom and your courage and your faith and your willingness to please God over pleasing public opinion.



Amen and Amen.

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