Have You Been Overwhelmed By Bad Reports?

Have you been overwhelmed by bad reports

Or dismayed by news of horrible aborts?

If so, you’re not alone. For the Israelites couldn’t enter

The promised land. That’s because many a venter

    (i.e. “I need to vent!”),

As in “those who spied the land out”, just saw giants.

You know – gangs of fierce, un-wieldly “self-reliants”

Who, it seems, looked on them with disdain,

Prompting them to sing this sad refrain:

“We look like grasshoppers to such big guys,

To whom we can’t compare in might or size.

Though Caleb may command faith to arise,  

We cannot climb above such mighty lies.”

(Our forms, you know, they truly do despise)

“Their bad reports are too much to endure,

Bombarding us with thoughts that are impure

And that hit us in the face like pizza pie.

However, when that pizza hits your eye,

You know it’s not AMORE but Amor-ITES,

The guys that have a knack for un-sound bites.

What’s more, they proudly fuss about wrong ‘rights,’

Just like Hittites, Jebusites and Canaanites.”

(And we’re not talking “knight in shining armor” knights)

And so, the men were overwhelmed by bad reports.

Dismayed by news of possible aborts,

Which tempted them severely to give up

Because they tasted of the bitter cup

That’s mixed with too much doubt to trust God’s Word,

Despite the mighty signs they’d seen and heard –

Such as manna rained upon them from above.

And yet they dared to question God’s great love.

Because they lacked the faith to enter in

To the land God had prepared for them,

He told them not to go. And yet they went.

Sadly, Moses couldn’t get them to relent.

Thus it ended in disaster: soldiers killed

Because they did not do as God had willed

But trusted in their own strength so unjust.

In fact, God knew they lacked the needed trust

To win the battle. Guilt had such a grip

Upon their hearts, it caused their feet to slip.     

But it’s not wise on one’s own flesh to rely,

Regardless of the saying “Do or die.”

  Yet God invites the weary soul to buy. . .

  The food which we can eat and never die. . .

With songs of praise to overwhelm a bad report

So that no one in their right mind will fall short.

Therefore, thank God for His promises each day,

Because Jesus helps us listen and obey.

Due to the fact that He listened diligently,

He has the power to help us hear clearly

So that finally, we too can understand

The awesome things that God for us has planned.

(Based on the story in Numbers chapters 13 and 14)

Relevant scriptures: Isaiah 55:1-3, Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4 (God’s Word: our food), Psalm 7:17, Psalm 8:2 (Psalm 32:7 (songs of deliverance),

When Parents Don’t Understand a Child’s Promised Land

Those who didn’t understand the Promised Land report

By Joshua and Caleb somehow managed to abort

God’s destiny for them which was an awesome property.

Big guys had done the work and now this land was theirs for free.

 

(see the book of Numbers chapters 13 and 14)

 

But most folks didn’t “get” these guys who spied out God’s good land.

All they saw were giants and they didn’t understand

What the Lord was doing and the great things He had planned,

The gifts He’d placed within their children, like flames to be fanned.

 

Instead, they saw their families as weak – “They won’t survive,

Let alone by some miraculous intervention thrive.” (Numbers 14:3)

“Those who KNOW God will do exploits” was a verse they didn’t know (Daniel 11:32),

And for their children, I believe, it was an awesome blow.

 

Imagine dreaming “milk and honey,” only to be told

It’s not within your grasp. “Don’t try it. All you’ll get is old.”

“You’ll die before you touch the grapes that WE could not obtain.

Best not to tackle it, my dear. You’ll never stand the strain.”

 

These men wanted to help their kids survive the wilderness

Instead of taking foolish risks while trying to impress

The God they THOUGHT they’d heard from, but their parents didn’t know.

For, some who tried to take the land received a heavy blow.

 

God told them not to do it when He saw their unbelief.

Instead they acted out of guilt, which caused the camp much grief. (Numbers 14:39-45)

By trusting their own wisdom to make up for wrongs they’d done,

They acted foolishly. The battle, lost, could not be won.

 

And so, their children suffered. In the wilderness they wandered,

For forty years unable to regain what doubt had squandered.

How do you talk to parents when you know they don’t believe?

They’re just too stressed to listen. Your ideas they can’t receive.

 

It helps to understand that parents don’t always feel blessed

When you share bold ideas with them. For they know that success

Does not come instantly. It has to stand the test of time.

They want you to prove faithful, adding reason to your “rhyme.”

 

Recall: The men who got frustrated missed the Promised Land,

Rebelling against knowledge that they didn’t understand.

They tried to prove themselves to God. “We’ll take the land, we will!”

But what they needed most to do was to relax and “chill.”

 

For faith cannot be conjured up, and though conveyed through speech,

It’s not just about changing things. But what did Jesus teach?

The Father desires worship both in truth and in spirit. (John 4:23)

Before trying to do His Word, you must take time to hear it.

 

To enter in your “Promised Land” requires that you rest (Hebrews 4:9-10),

So that when you bring up “those grapes” your dad does not feel stressed.

You do not want to tempt the man to go off on his own

And try to conquer FOR you what you need to do alone.

 

But yet, you’re not alone, for Jesus walks that road with you.

He’ll never will forsake you and His promises ring true.

The spiritual Rock that followed Israel in the desert knows your name (I Corinthians 10:4),

And when you choose to follow Him, you’ll never be the same.

 

 

Every child has a “Promised Land,” a dream meant just for them, a destiny only they can fulfill. A child that believes in Jesus and commits his/her life to Him may be inspired with a dream that adults don’t see. His/her parents may not understand or promote the dream – perhaps because they themselves have a Promised Land worth of dreams that remain unfulfilled. Perhaps they  tried to take that land before being properly equipped, and it resulted in disaster.

 

For whatever reason, it may be hard for them to fathom how the child’s dream could possibly succeed. If that’s the case, how can a child get the support he or she needs to fulfill that dream?

 

I. See Victory Over Rebellion as a Step Toward the Promised Land

 

Rebelling against parents and/or demanding one’s own way is like the men who tried to take the Promised Land after proving themselves unfaithful – unfaithful as in “they were not full of faith” and therefore could not receive Joshua and Caleb’s good report. Rather than promote rebellion, God’s word teaches children to honor their parents (Ephesians 6:2). Though honoring (respecting) them may be your greatest fight, through Jesus you can do it (if in Him you delight).

 

Victory over rebellion is an exploit that takes you closer to the Promised Land

 

II. Draw Near to God

 

The key to getting favor from parents and/or other adults is to draw close to God and find rest in Him. This involves prayer. You can talk to God about anything, but it really helps to praise Him and to pray for understanding while reading His Word (the Bible). Focus on His promises of who you are in Him, such as “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away. All things have become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)

 

Drawing near to these truths will enable you to draw near to Him. It also helps to remember that Jesus will never leave or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). His name Emmanuel means “God with us.” Before ascending into heaven, He empowered his disciples with the knowledge that “I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20). With that knowledge they were able to reach the world for Him.

 

III. Spy Out Your Own Particular Promised Land

 

The one who can best understand his/her particular “promised land” is the person to whom it belongs. Caleb, for example, spied out the mountain he wanted before asking Joshua for permission to take it. But Promised Land decisions should not be made alone. Solomon declared in Proverbs 15:22 that with many counselors there is wisdom. Godly people can help guide you to your Promised Land.

 

The best plan is to believe. It may take time, but it’s well worth the wait.

 

Ripping up Bad Report Cards: a Freeing Experience