“We explored the land and found it to be rich and fertile; and here is some of its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and their cities are very large and well fortified. Even worse, we saw the descendants of the giants there” (Numbers 13:17-28).
Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan, the land that God had promised the Israelites. The majority of the spies agreed with this account. Only two offered a different opinion.
Caleb listened as they gave their report, probably knitting his brow. I can see him sharing a bewildered look with Joshua, a fellow spy, as if to say, “Were these people looking at the same land we were?”
After they had finished, he gave Moses his take on things: “We should attack now and take the land; we are strong enough to conquer it” (Numbers 13:30b).
Joshua agreed, “The land we explored is an excellent land. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will take us there and give us that rich and fertile land. Do not rebel against the Lord and don’t be afraid of the people who live there. We will conquer them easily. The Lord is with us and has defeated the gods who protected them; so don’t be afraid” (Numbers 14:7-8).
Moses had sent twelve spies into Canaan. Ten came back with an evil report, and two came back with a good report. Who was Moses to believe? Should he go with the majority? After all, ten people couldn’t be wrong, could they? Or should he go with the minority?
Upon hearing Caleb and Joshua’s report, “The whole community was threatening to stone them to death” (Numbers 14:10).
Clearly, the Israelites chose to believe the evil report rather than the good one. They wanted to stone Caleb and Joshua for seeing Canaan as God did. They wanted to murder them for their difference of opinion...until the presence of the Lord showed up.
God demanded of Moses, “How much longer will these people reject me? How much longer will they refuse to trust in me, even though I have performed so many miracles among them?” (Numbers 14:11).
God is asking us that same question today: “How much longer will you refuse to trust in me?”
When we choose to believe the evil report over what God says, we are refusing to trust God.
Evil Report: your bank account is empty, and your bills are piling up.
God: “And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your needs” (Philippians 4:19).
Evil Report: the doctor says you have an incurable disease.
God: “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He keeps me from the grave and blesses me with love and mercy” (Psalm 103:3-4).
You can choose to believe the evil report or to believe God’s report. You can either dwell on what you see, or you can stand on the promises of God and see yourself, through the eyes of faith, as healed, as delivered, as abundant, as everything God says you are.
The evil report might be a fact, but the Word of God is the truth. And facts are subject to change.
As long as you are standing on God’s promises, seeing yourself as victorious, you are chipping away at those facts. And eventually, you will be left with nothing but the truth.