GOING AGAINST THE CROWD
GOING AGAINST THE CROWD
INTRO - Have you ever felt a little out numbered?
I. SPECIAL AGENT CALEB - Some of my favorite shows growing up revolved around a special agent...
A. Chosen And Commissioned - Are first introduction to Caleb is found in Numbers 13.Being freed from the bonds of slavery down in Egypt, God had lead the Israelites to the doorsteps of the Promise land. Upon their arrival God had some jobs to hand out.
1. A mission for Moses - Nm 13:1-2 To Moses was given the job of picking 12 men, one from each of the twelve tribes, and sending them in to the promise land as spies.
2. People for a mission - In the following verses we are than given a list of twelve names - twelve men who would become secret agents.
3. Sent on a mission - Once chosen Moses gave the 12 special agents, spies if you prefer, their mission
a. Go into the South Country; and the hill country. (Vs 17)
b. See if the people who live in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many (Vs 18)
c. Check out the living situations, are they in open or fortified cities. (Vs 19)
d. Don’t forget to check out the crops and bring some back. (Vs 20)
B. Spying and Demoralizing
1. They fulfilled their mission. - Nm 13:21-24
2. They reported on their mission - Forty days later the spies returned with their report and the news was great or was it.
a. On the positive side they had this to say. Vs 27 “ it certainly does flow with milk and honey,.”
b. On the negative side they said Vs 28-29, 31-33 , "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us. ..."The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; ... we became like grasshoppers in our own sight,
3. The people respond to the mission - Nm 14:1-4 the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; ..." So they said to one another, "Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt." - How often do men when freed from sin want to return? Even in light of all the miracles God had done for them they wanted to return.
C. Standing Firm And Being Blessed - In opposition to the people’s desire to return to Egypt stood Caleb. After giving the report of the land we find Caleb ready to go and take it away. 13:30
1. Almost killed - Upon hearing the request of the people to return to Egypt, Caleb took the opportunity to try to convince the people that they could take the land and almost lost his life in the process.14:6-10 "If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us ... "Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them." But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel. As the people were preparing to kill Caleb, God showed up. I wonder what the people were thing about then.
2. Outliving the rebellious - As a result of the rebellion, God passed judgement on the people including the spies who convinced the people they couldn’t take the land..
a. Nm 14:24
b. Nm 14:36-38
II. FEELING A LITTLE CROWDED - Caleb could have said well, God does want us to go in but you know, the rest of the spies have a good point and yeah, maybe we should go back to Egypt. But he didn’t. Caleb isn’t the only one in the Bible to deal with going against a crowd., some willfully went along while others stood their ground.
A. A Prophet And A King - In 2 Ch 18:4-12 we find the story of Jehoshaphat and Micaiah. Jehoshaphat had gone to visit Ahab and committed himself to helping Ahab in war but he wanted to get God’s input before doing anything. So, Ahab calls together 400 prophets to get an answer - Vs 4,5
1. Jehoshaphat - Even with 400 men saying go to battle, Jehoshaphat was unwilling to accept the answer they had, he was unwilling to go with the “crowd” and asked for a real prophet. Vs 6,7
2. Micaiah - Upon his summons, Micaiah was encouraged to go with the crowd. Vs 12 - Unwilling to go with the crowd, he mockingly tells the king to go and than tells Ahab the bad news.
3. 400 to 1 was not enough to get these men to go with the crowd. Like Caleb these men knew God and how He operates and could see the crowd was wrong. Sometimes we go with the crowd simply because we don’t know better.
B. Talking To A Samaritan - In the eyes of the Jews, Samaritans were the scum of the earth. If you wanted to fit in with the crowd you would have nothing to do with them. You would literally go miles out of your way to avoid them. Furthermore you would never be caught talking to a woman in public. She was both, Jesus was a Jew yet He took the time to talk to her. Jn 4:3-9 How often do we avoid someone because of what others may say about us or think about us. Many a missionary through time has gone to people groups against what the opinion of the crowds thought. God has never been afraid to go against the crowd. Jesus wasn’t afraid, should we?
C. Passing The Buck - Have you ever “passed the buck”? In this story the crowd won.
1. Jn 9:1-7 A blind man is healed and everything sounds great - so far.
2. Jn 9:18-23 The people didn’t want to believe what happened and they called his parents who didn’t want to give answer lest they get kicked out of the synagogue - Time and time again people have been afraid of the crowds when it comes to openly acknowledging Jesus Christ. Caleb was not afraid to stand up and say God can do it even in the face of being stoned. Stephen even gave his life while professing Christ.
III. WHEN THE PRESSURE’S ON - Through out our lives we will find our selves in situations that put us up against the crowd. And there’s more than one reason we may feel we need to go with the crowds.
1. Ignorance of what the crowd stands for or if we should be in the crowd
2. Desire to fit in and be accepted - It’s not man we need to please but God.
a. Afraid to make a scene
b. Afraid to stick out or being kicked out
A. Some Verses To Think Upon
1. Rm 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect
2. 1 Co 15:33 Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." - We’ll become like the crowds.
3. Hb 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, - The crowd is sitting on the sidelines.