Monday, April 23, 2012

deadly perspective

I’ve heard this Bible story my whole life, and I can even sing it in a cute little song with hand motions.  “Twelve men went to spy on Canaan –ten were bad and two were good.”  Except the song gets faster every time you sing it, and I always have to drop out because I can’t keep up with the ten fingers –thumbs down –two fingers –thumbs up when it gets too fast. 

This weekend I was reading the story of the 12 spies for the umpteenth time, and I was shocked to read something I had never noticed before, something we don’t sing about with the grade school kids. 

All 10 spies who explored the promised land and came back with a bad report about it were “struck down and died of a plague before the Lord”.  (Numbers 14:36-37  NIV)   

What cute little hand motion do you use for that? 

God sent them in as spies to see a land that was “exceedingly good”, and they came back with only a vision of giants and impossible cities to conquer.  They were filled with fear, which they shared liberally with all their friends. 

A capital crime in God’s judgment.  Twelve men went to spy on Canaan, ten were dead and two were good. 

After reading this story with fresh eyes, I very quickly took stock of where God seems to be leading me and what perspective I have of it.  Paul says, “We live by faith, not by sight.”  (2 Corinthians 5:7)  I’m taking that a little more seriously today. 

As you scout out the tasks God seems to be putting in front of you, are you going in with eyes of faith or fear?  Answer carefully.


  1. I have a friend who is being clearly, drastically, passionately called to minister in a 3rd world country. She has 3 small children who would presumably move there to live and minister. When people hear her vision and her dream, they frequently remind her of all the horrible, life threatening diseases her children may contract from the prolific mosquitoes there. I loved her response. "When I get to heaven and God asks me why I didn't obey I heard myself saying 'because I was scared of mosquitoes.' I'm pretty sure that won't fly with Him." When we boil it down to our fear and present that to God- how small they seem in comparison to His greatness.

    1. That's sobering to think of God asking me why I didn't obey him. Thanks for sharing.

    2. There is a family with 3 young children who obeyed God's call and moved to Ethiopia almost 2 years ago. Tell your friend to contact Sumer at Project 61 ( for some encouragement from someone who "listened and obeyed".