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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20170122 THE GRASSHOPPER COMPLEX

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Senior Pastor Phil Roland

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Pastor Ray Scott

 

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THE GRASSHOPPER COMPLEX

SERMON STARTER

 

          We live in an age of giants. At least they are giants as seen through the eyes of children or the immature. The extremely young and the immature live in fear, most of which are unfounded. It is easy to say that in our nation and in our churches the greatest fear is the fear of change. We long for the comfort of the past. The leeks and garlic of Egypt were so plentiful, never mind that they came with the awful price of bondage and slavery.

          The amazing thing about the Moses story in today's text of deliverance is that in a matter of FORTY DAYS the one and one-half million Children of Israel arrived at the threshold of the Promised Land. They were twelve tribes, but they were a mixed lot. Some wanted to go back to Egypt and slavery. Others doubted they could take the Land, after all, they were just tradesmen and not warriors. Still others doubted there even was a Land of Promise granted to their Father Abraham.

          WE as a people and as a nation are on the threshold of change. Like one man said, "My luck is changing!" A friend tells him dryly, "Yea, it's changing alright. It's getting WORSE!" My sermon this morning explores the myriad ways we will be facing change in the days ahead. We're definitely the mixed multitude Moses led out of Egypt. 

          Just putting people into leadership that can facilitate change, isn't enough. It's up to God's people to BE the People of Faith. Pray for our Nation and Expect God to intervene as a direct answer to our ability to humble ourselves and seek His Face.

Pastor Phil  <><<

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January 22, 2017 - Sheepfold Ministries

 Pastor Phil Roland

 

THE GRASSHOPPER COMPLEX

NUMBERS 13:17-33

“Our Giants keep us from finding God in our lives and walking in faith toward Him. Our giants are not supernatural, but they SEEM to us to be supernatural. They bully and intimidate us as we cower in fear.”

                                                                                             Pastor Phil  <><<

 

33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."    Numbers 13:33 NKJV

 
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

 

BACKGROUND TO TEXT:

          300 Years of Slavery in Egypt - A Million and A Half People

          God Raised Up Moses as a Deliverer

          He Sent Ten Plagues Upon Egypt

          Miracle at the Parting of the Red Sea

          Deliverance from Pharaoh's Army

          Reached KADISH-BARNEA within months of leaving Egypt

          At the Edge of the Promised Land, sent in Twelve Spies

 

The Grasshopper Complex Problem Started in Faith

I.  MOSES SENDS TWELVE SPIES TO CHECK OUT THE LAND

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
2 "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them."   Numbers 13:1-2 (NKJV)

          A. One Leader from each of 12 Tribes sent as spies

                    1. Joshua - Ya-shua - Hebrew = "Victory"

                    2. Caleb = Hebrew = "Whole Hearted"

          B. The Land was Fruitful - Numbers 13:23

                    23 Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with

              one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They

              also brought some of the pomegranates and figs.

                    1. The Lord's Promise - Exodus 3:8a

                                        8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the

                          Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large

                          land, to a land flowing with milk and honey. . .

                    2. The opportunity was there, but the people doubted

                    3. They were a mixed multitude who rejected God's Promises

 

THE GRASSHOPPER COMPLEX, cont., p.2

 

The Grasshopper Complex Problem Led to Unfaithfulness:

II. THE MAJORITY ISN’T ALWAYS RIGHT - v.31

31 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."

          A. Twelve Spies went out, one for each tribe

                    1. Two came with a favorable report: Joshua and Caleb

                    2. Moses' Assistants were God's faithful men

                    3. They gave a glowing favorable report

          B. Ten Spies gave negative reports

                    1. They spread their negativity into the camps

                    2. The negative spies used logic: black and white thinking

          C. FAITH vs. UNBELIEF - Here was the clash that brought conflict

                    1. Comparing yourself with others is the root of unbelief

                    2. We tend to Envy those Above us and

                    3. We tend to have Contempt for those Beneath us

                    4. Passing Judgment we isolate our selves and become alone

          D. We have observed flaws in majorities for the past 40 years

                    1. Large vocal majorities gave us Roe vs. Wade

                    2. Large vocal majorities gave us Political Correctness

                    3. Large vocal majorities gave us Bread and Circuses

          E. Displeased, God struck down the Ten Unfaithful Spies

          36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made

              the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report

              about it-- 37 these men responsible for spreading the bad report about the

              land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD. 38 Of the

              men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son

              of Jephunneh survived.   Numbers 14:36-38 (NIV)

                    1. Those who believed the unfaithful reports were punished

                    2. Their sentence was death and burial in the desert sands

                    3. Only their children were allowed to Take the Promised Land

 

The Grasshopper Complex People Saw Only Themselves

III. SPIES SAW GIANTS - WHO ARE YOU LOOKING AT? - v. 33

33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."    Numbers 13:33 NKJV

          A. Edible Grasshoppers - “CHA-GAB”

                    1. "We felt like they could have us for lunch"

                    2. We could be chewed up and consumed by Giants

          B. Winged Edible Grasshopper - Leviticus 11:22

                    22 These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its

              kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind.

                    1. They believed what they saw with their eyes

                    2. They believed only what they saw and logically believed

 

THE GRASSHOPPER COMPLEX, cont., p.3

 

The Grasshopper Complex Led to Caleb's Sermon

IV. CALEB’S SERMON BEFORE THE PEOPLE - v. 30

30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it."
                             

Caleb's Wholehearted Sermon:

          A. GO - Go face your Giants - John 14

          1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

              2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have

              told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place

              for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there

              you may be also.

                    1. Move toward the Conflict, not away from it

                    2. Deal with your Giants in Faith, Directly

                    3. God has promised to be with us Hebrews 13:5

                                        5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such

                          things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you

                          nor forsake you."

          B. POSSESS - Plenty or Good Enough? - Nehemiah 9:21

                    21 Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness, They lacked nothing;

              Their clothes did not wear out And their feet did not swell.

                    1. They were ready to Possess the Land

                    2. God demonstrated His ability to Sustain them

                              a. Cloud by Day

                              b. Pillar of Fire by Night

                              c. Manna for food

                              d. Water from the Rock

                    3. They were strong enough 

                       "If God is with us, who can be against us?"

          C. OVERCOME - Joshua 1:3;6

                    3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I

              said to Moses.

                        1. God has made us more than conquerors - Romans 8

                    2. Go in and Take the Land - Joshua 1:6

                        6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide

                          as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give

                          them.

                    3. Overcome Your Giants: Money, Jobs, Marital

                              a. Fear / Anxiety

                              b. Rejection

                              c. Depression

                              d. Loneliness / Unresolved Grief

                    4. Put Your Faith in Jesus -

 

 

They could have Overcome the Land, but couldn't Overcome their Fears

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THE GRASSHOPPER COMPLEX, Text

Numbers 13:17-33 (NKJV)
17 Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, "Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains,
18 and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many;
19 whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds;
20 whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land." Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.
21 So they went up and spied out the land from the Wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, near the entrance of Hamath.
22 And they went up through the South and came to Hebron; Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were there. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)
23 Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs.
24 The place was called the Valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the men of Israel cut down there.
25 And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.
26 Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.
27 Then they told him, and said: "We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.
28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there.
29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan."
30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it."
31 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."
32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.
33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."