Defeat the Devil: Pursue Your Dreams Numbers 14:9-11 Bible Study September 19, 2012
Sermon Summary Sunday’s sermon dealt with the great tragedy of allowing doubt, distraction, fear and negativity to stop us from pursuing our God-given vision and dreams. Israel is right on the edge of the Promised Land. This promise of God to them is something that would have been capturing their hearts, minds and imaginations and now it was before them. Tragically, most of the people would never see the Promised Land. Instead of believing in and pursuing the vision and promise that God had given them – and that Joshua and Caleb reported was within their grasp – they followed the evil of negativity and the bad report. As a result, the people ended up in the wilderness for 40 years before reaching the Promised Land Do not let the devil defeat you. Do not live a life in the wilderness with low expectations, low joy, and unpursued dreams. Pursue the dreams, goals and ambitions God has given you and don’t let anything stand in your way.
Verse 9Joshua and Caleb are working hard to counteract the negative report and to get the people to pursue what God has provided. Will they hear God through Joshua and Caleb? Will they listen to the word of God?
- What are some of the things that Joshua and Caleb warn them against?
- What does it mean to rebel against God? What are some ways we rebel against God? (e.g. Eph 4:30, 1 Thess 5:19)
- Fear – mentioned twice – is a real, honest human emotion. How can we overcome our fears? (e.g. Psalms 27:1-2; Matthew 10:28, 2 Tim 1:7)
- How come Joshua and Caleb words of victory and reminder that God was with them stir them up? Shouldn’t they be excited? Shouldn’t they, like we, be encouraged and engaged by the simple utterance of the truth that God will be with us? (consider what he had already brought them through)
Verse 10 This is a sad verse. Instead of being reminded of God’s truth and promise, the people“go all in”. Joshua and Caleb spoke the truth, BUT the people refuse to hear it. They want to kill the bearers of the good news! (sound familiar)
- Discuss or consider how a virtually whole group can deny the truth and pursue wrong.
- Consider how far the people have fallen from God’s pronouncement of the Promised Land in Numbers 13:1-2 to the point where they want to kill their brothers. Look at James 1:14-15 and consider or discuss how things can go from “bad to worse” if we don’t catch them right away.
- If you look closely, you will always find good news in the text. God (the Glory of the Lord) shows up! Reflect on/discuss the times where things were going poorly but God showed up and made his presence known in your life.
Verse 11God makes some things clear in this verse. When we move according to God’s direction, those people who try to stop us are in rebellion against God. It feels like they are against you but they are really against God. That is a bad place (for them) to be. Let God fight your battles!
- What are the two things that God says the people are doing to Him?
- What does it mean to treat God with contempt? Remember these people not only operated out of fear but they lied and then were prepared to kill.
- What does it mean to refuse to believe in God?
- What are some of the miraculous signs that God had performed for the people? Why do you think they fail to believe despite those miracles?
- Reflect on some of the miracles (“big” or “small”) that God has done for you? Consider joy, peace, contentment, healing, protection, there are so many!
This text is a great example and a great tragedy. The people had the Promised Land (their vision, their dream) before them. There were obstacles but God was with them. They let their fear and doubt consume them to the point that they would not hear the truth and failed to pursue their dreams. Don’t let these things defeat you. Defeat them and pursue what God has for you!