If you have not as yet, I invite you to read the first blog post in this series United Within – Introduction.
In Numbers 13:17-20, we read that Moses gave the 12 spies the same command. And they obeyed, and they returned after 40 days (Numbers 13:25). The 12 spies returned together and stood before the entire congregation, who were waiting in anticipation to hear and know what the 12 spies saw. The initial account, that the land ‘floweth with milk and honey;…’ (Numbers 13:27 KJV) was positive. Then the spies went on to describe the strength of the enemy and the fortified walls of the city. Then Caleb one of the spies, as the voice of reason, sought to reassure the people and to reaffirm that they would be able to take the land.
But the 10 spies countered Caleb’s affirmation and said no they would not be able to successfully possess the land (Numbers 13:31). The report from the spies continued to deteriorate to the spies saying that land ‘eateth up the inhabitants ….; and [that] all the people … [they] … saw in it … [were] … men of a great stature’ (Number 13:32 KJV).
Then in their own eyes, the 10 spies saw themselves as grasshoppers (Numbers 13:33). True there was real danger, but it was important for the parties involved to see things in the correct context. Sadly, ‘all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night’ (Numbers 14:1 KJV). So after the meeting the whole camp would have returned to their tents with very heavy hearts.
And one thing led to another, murmuring was the next thing that happened (Numbers 14:2).
Then the things that God had done before became the subject of distrust and the people even spoke about dying ‘in this wilderness’ (Numbers 14:2 KJV). They started to doubt God’s intention for their lives and even went as far as to discuss the idea of appointing a new leader to take them back from whence they came (Numbers 14:4).
At this point Moses and Aaron were in distress, and Caleb and Joshua tried to bring some balance to the conversation and implored the people not to rebel against God (Numbers 14:5-9). Then the congregation turned on Joshua and Caleb with the intention to stone them and at this point God intervened (Numbers 14:10).
Based on this account, imagine if such conflicting sentiments are held by one person? then the ensuing mental trauma is evident.
When we face challenges, do we oscillate between different feelings? And when pieces of information are shared with us, do we go from feeling confident, to feeling doubtful to distress and even feeling to give up at times?
As I explore this story, I am prayerfully seeking to address and highlight the events that occur and the revelation of how information when absorbed and processed can create or trigger varying reactions or responses.
As in the account, we are introduced to barriers that need to be overcome to achieve unity within. The next blog post in this series will be ‘Confronting Our Fears’.