Negative Images 2
“And they told him, and said, we came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. But the people living in the land are strong, and the towns are walled and very great; further, we saw the children of Anak there.” Numbers 13:27-28
ACCORDING to the SPURGEON DEVOTIONAL COMMENTARY - Thus, the report of sight was altogether discouraging. How much better would it have been for Israel had they walked by faith! Every circumstance which could discourage the heart of these spies took careful note of, but they omitted for misinterpreted many hopeful tokens. If we will leave the line of faith, we are sure to be sorely put to it.
If you believe that you are going to fail, you will unconsciously sabotage every opportunity to succeed. If you are afraid of meeting new people or having close relationships, you will do everything to avoid people and relationships, and then complain that you are lonely and nobody loves you.
Twelve individuals representing the twelve tribes of Israel respectively were sent by Moses to the land of Canaan. Their mission was simple; to spy and report on the land that the Lord had promised He would give to the Israelites after their delivery from the Egypt. It was a command by the Lord Himself to Moses. After a successful completion of an important mission, the ambassadors were expected to humbly submit their report for necessary action.
To make our discussion very relevant, let’s take a retrospective look at the grounds of this message in its proper context.
“Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.” Numbers 13:28
The emphasis is on the children of Anak though other tribes were mentioned in our text.
The Anaks, who were they according to the Scripture?
The ANAKS also known as the ANAKIMS were GIANTS who were supposed to prevent the ISRAELITES from possessing the Promised Land. “Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!” De 9:1-2
“….Whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, who can stand before the children of Anak!”
“And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.” Gen 12:7
There are two different kinds of people in every house: the PESSIMISTS and the OPTIMISTS. The pessimists believe nothing good can ever suffice from a situation no matter how bright the situation may be. They always see the dark side of events.
Optimists, on the other hand, believe in the positive side of life no matter how bad the situation may look. They always see the brighter side of events. They can achieve ANYTHING they wish because of their belief system. Research indicates the optimists are mostly winners.
“Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven…” Deut 9:1
Personally, I think this was one of the most powerful messages the Lord had given to the people of Israel after their deliverance from Egypt. The Lord simply reiterates His love and commitment to providing and upholding the pledge he had made to their great, grandfathers.
The Lord had promised to give the people of Israel a land flowing with milk and honey… but, on condition. He made it clear to them as they prepare to take the land, they would meet some degree of resistance. GIANTS would come their way, people no one has ever defeated before. Nevertheless, He assured them He was in control of every affair and that they should just believe and remain steadfast.
Very assuring. I strongly believe the people of Israel would have been very grateful and extremely elated to have heard such a message. Notwithstanding, there was a problem. The problem was the how. How the Israelites were going to get there. Of course the Lord had already given them the land. It was for the Israelites themselves to go and possess what rightful belongs to them. There were many battles to be fought; they must be able to drive IMPOSTERS already on the land as the LORD Himself had told them. Until those imposters were driven off the land they couldn’t possess the Promised Land.
Anything that the mind can conceive and believe can be attained. One of the main drawbacks of mankind is the average man’s familiarity with the word IMPOSSIBILITY. He knows all the laws and rules which will not work. He knows all the things which cannot be done.
As Napoleon Hills puts it “SUCCESS comes to those who become SUCCESS CONSCIOUS. FAILLURE comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become FAILURE CONSCIOUS.”
One of the devastating effects of NEGATIVE PORTRAIT is that it often gives birth to NO FAITH. People possessed by this very disease lack faith in everything they do. Sometimes it is not within their control. They are always been controlled by what they saw or heard sometime past. As a result, no matter how reassuring the message may be, until they see the result their minds cannot be tamed to positivity. Such people see success as failures. They are often victims of past events.
We read the Bible every day but we all have our own way of understanding the bible. Many churches have their own way of understanding the Holy Bible. Some churches have their own constitution that guides them in their operations. Whatever it may mean, their belief is based on what the founders of that church believe in. It would be extremely difficult to convince or make a Seventh Day Adventist to go to church on Sunday. Their constitution or belief system does not tell them that. Members of Jehovah Witness believe heaven is going to be on earth and that the old one will disappear eventually making way for a new one. Though we all read the same bible we have different ways of interpreting.
That was exactly what happened to the children of Israel when God promised them land that flows with milk and honey. It’s often difficult for people who think negative to have success. There are many believers walloping in damned poverty due to their thinking capability. “ I can’t do it or have this or that” once you develop such an attitude even if you are given what you have been searching for, you still can’t have it simply because you have already been defeated in advance.
God told the Israelites the land had already been given to them nonetheless, they would meet tough resistance from well-known GIANTS who had never been defeated before by anyone. Won’t it be amazing to tell someone you are giving him or her something only to put fear in him/her concerning that very thing? Whatever the reason, this message left a VERY BIG SCAR on the minds of some of the people of Israel. This very statement God made will be our focus of discussion for the next couple of minutes.
“Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!”
In some part, the message had brought some degree of fear and panic on the people of Israel albeit it was on condition. “Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.” Deut 9:3
We should not in our quest to achieve success, do expect that God would descend down on earth to give us whatever we need. It doesn’t work that way. The Lord God has given us the opportunity to make some choices on our own i.e. to choose between success and failure, life and death, the list goes on. Our ability, however, to take authority over what you want depends on what you conceive in your mind. For instance, if you choose failure or “I can’t” as most of us often prefer then you are 100% guaranteed that failure will be your end result.
“And they told him, and said, we came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey (an admission of how good the land really was); and this is the fruit of it (evidence of success). But the people living in the land are strong, and the towns are walled and very great; further, we saw the children of Anak there (….. But the men who had gone up with him said, we are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. And they gave the children of Israel a bad account of the land they had been to see, saying, This land through which we went is a land causing destruction to those living in it; and all the people we saw there are men of more than common size. There we saw those great men, the sons of Anak, offspring of the Nephilim: and we seemed to ourselves no more than insects, and so we seemed to them.” Numbers 13: 27
The above text represents the account of ten out of the twelve spies Moses under the command of God directed to spy and report on the Promised Land God promised He would give to the Israelites. They have twisted the entire message of God. “We seemed to ourselves no more than insects, and so we seemed to them….” very destructive report; …..And because they were of the majority they managed to brainwash most Israelites into believing that the Anakims and their cohorts were undefeatable irrespective of the assurances God gave them.
The question then is what could have caused this disbelief among the ten spies? The answer is simple; it was because of what they have heard in time past (Anakims are invincible). They always see the Anakims. Of course as already stated in the bible no one has ever defeated them before. So when they heard God reechoed that into their ears the message stuck permanently in their minds. After all the Anaks are giants and there is no way we could defeat them. That was the picture they often see, pictures of invincible giants.
There is an African proverb that reads; “a child once burnt by fire always fears fire”. Such a kid will always see fire as a bad friend though he would not have been burnt had he been careful a bit. That burnt of course will leave an undeleted print in the child’s mind.
The people of Israel had heard of the Anakims and their cohorts; how strong they are and what they are capable of doing to others. Most importantly God confirmed it when making his assurance to them. Because some of them, mostly elders who might have watched Anakims fight before allowed those negative imprints to stick permanently in their minds. Any time they see the Promised Land they see great, invincible giants to the point that they even regarded themselves as grasshoppers. What a damaging report. Do you expect such a person to win a battle when in his court he is been defeated already?
My friend we have been given victory already. Just that we have allowed things that once went bad in our lives to dictate to us presently. In fact, I have already talked a lot about this negative mental attitude in NEGATIVE IMAGES I. Our mind is what controls us. The bible confirms this… sin is normally conceived in our mind before it becomes materialized in the physical realm.
My purpose as a young Inspiration Speaker is not to teach you the Bible anyway, which I guess you know better than I do but to help you erase ideas that retard your progress as a Christian or an ordinary business man. My mission is to help you overcome those negative obstacles. You must erase those negative pictures else they become potential barrier to your success. Even if you are faced with giants like the Anakims you can still defeat them once you believe you can, most importantly, when you have God, the most powerful Army COMMANDER by your side.
A perfect example is David and Goliath in the Holy Bible. All the Israelites including the King then, Saul saw Goliath as an invincible Soldier and were sore afraid to battle with him. It only took the timely intervention of a young brave shepherd (teenager) to defeat the so-called giant; that person was, David, the son of Jesse. One, David believes he could defeat Goliath. Two, he had killed animals more violent and dangerous than Goliath that once tried to harm his sheep so he was confident he could defeat him too. Three, God was his source of strength. In fact, Goliath cursed David with so many earthen idols. On the contrary, David drew his strength and power from the Creator of those so-called idols Goliath cursed him with and indeed he was able to annihilate the infamous Goliath. There is no problem or situation bigger than God. The God that enabled David with the strength to annihilate Goliath was the same God that promised the Israelites he would give them a land flowing with honey and milk.
The Israelites had seen a lot of miracles face to face, with the greatest took place in Egypt and in the wilderness. He promised He was going to get them out of Egypt and truly He did. Isn’t this evidence enough to prove to the Israelites that He always does it whenever He promises?
Their failure to believe worsens and aggravated God’s wrath due to their already sinful nature. The repercussion was God’s decision to ultimately destroy all those unbelievers and their families save Caleb, Joshua and innocent children who were below the ages of 19 years then.
No matter how hard you try you will meet failure until you leave the past behind you. Most people fail to get married because of what they witnessed their fathers do to their innocent mothers, vice versa. Negative Pictures are always pictures or images or portraits of distraction and their main purpose are to misdirect your attention from your purpose. They are tools of the devil. They devil will go at length to ensure that you do not get the Promised Land just as he tried to prevent the Israelites from possessing what was rightfully theirs. The good news, however, is you have an Ancient God that never fails. He is the God of yesterday, today and forever. He will never let you down no matter the circumstances.
In a later part of our reading we realized God spared the lives of those few people who believed particularly Caleb, Joshua and the innocent children. The negative picture of all those stubborn people who permitted the past or what they heard sometime past to dictate their future had to lose everything including their innocent families. Just a negative report sent multitudes to their early graves. It allowed many to wander in the wilderness for several years without a cause.
40 YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS…….
"Because all these men, having seen my glory and the signs which I have done in Egypt and in the waste land, still have put me to the test ten times, and have not given ear to my voice; They will not see the land about which I made an oath to their fathers; not one of these by whom I have not been honored will see it. But my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit in him, and has been true to me with all his heart, him I will take into that land into which he went, and his seed will have it for their heritage. Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites are in the valley; tomorrow, turning round, go into the waste land by the way to the Red Sea. Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, How long am I to put up with this evil people and their outcries against me? The words which they say against me have come to my ears. Say to them, by my life, says the Lord, as certainly as your words have come to my ears, so certainly will I do this to you: Your dead bodies will be stretched out in this waste land; and of all your number, all those of twenty years old and over who have been crying out against me, Not one will come into the land which I gave my word you would have for your resting-place, but only Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, the son of Nun. And your little ones, whom you said would come into strange hands, I will take in, and they will see the land which you would not have. But as for you, your dead bodies will be stretched in this waste land. And your children will be wanderers in the waste land for forty years, undergoing punishment for your false ways, till your bodies become dust in the waste land. And as you went through the land viewing it for forty days, so for forty years, a year for every day, you will undergo punishment for your wrongdoing, and you will see that I am against you. I the Lord have said it, and this I will certainly do to this entire evil people who have come together against me: in this waste land destruction will come on them, and death will be their fate.” Numbers 14: 22
For forty years in the wilderness, innocent sons and daughters of Israel had to go through hell just because of one damned report made by ten faithless spies. “We can’t posses the Promised Land because we saw the children of Anak there”
Their negative statement jeopardizes many lives including their leaders Moses and Aaron. According to the text, Caleb and Joshua had to be stoned until they decided to run for their lives. What could be more devastating than this? They had to wander in a strange land for several years just because of unbelief on the part of some selected Israelites – “which you heard no one has defeated before”.
Most of us have been wandering in the wilderness for the wrong reasons – what has happened to us in the time past. It changes our faith in God. You failed an exam in some time past perhaps; you failed in a relationship in some time past; you failed to make ends meet because you met the most humiliating moment when your business collapsed without any reason. Every hope seems lost. As a result, you think there is absolutely no hope for you again in life. My friend I humbly beg to differ, many of us have failed before, but we did not allow those temporary failures to dictate to us what we should. Perhaps, you are not getting married because of what is in your mind. What you have experienced before.
Many of our failures are as a result of what we have conceived in our minds. Until we trade this for the positive, we will continue to wallop up in poverty. Why should you allow something that had happened to you in the past to dictate and control your future? You have the entire world in your hands. You can choose to win or be a victim of failure, but that certainly depends on what you allow in and out of your ears.
Embarking on the rich journey of reclaiming our authentic self is all about recognizing and understanding our thoughts - why we believe the way we do - how our thinking limits us and makes us powerless - and how we can turn those negative thoughts around and to learn to love and respect both ourselves and others.
Constantly thinking negative thoughts has the power to truly break us and destroy our lives. That's the profound message and it really is as simple as that.
By: Analimbey, Chris Adobe-Rah
Email: [email protected]
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."