Heard Some Bad News Lately?

Another child kidnapped. A volcano erupts in an out-of-the-way country and brings travel and commerce to a standstill worldwide. People continue to pull bodies, a few alive but most dead, out of the rubble of several earthquakes. Mining families say good-bye to their loved ones, crushed in an unnecessary explosion. The Dow closes down....again. The housing market continues to struggle. Greedy businessmen try to explain their way out of slanderous accusations of misdealings and fraud. Our president continues to offer empty promises to Israel while drawing threatening lines in the Mid-East sand, disregarding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the nation we most need to support.

Are you ever left thinking, "Where is this all going?" I am. Spending just a few minutes watching the news reports of CNN, ABC, or even FOX can leave me shaking in my sandals. The report isn't good. And even if the news isn't about hardcore politics, economics or geographical woes, I still end up feeling somewhat helpless and confused.

Just yesterday I listened to a report about Un-Schooling. That's right. There are parents who keep their kids out of the public school systems and even out of private schools in order to un-school them. These aren't homeschoolers, although the GMA report linked them to these parents who are simply educating their children at home. If I were a homeschooler I would be livid at this ridiculous association by default. Un-schoolers are parents, if we should really call them that, who do not educate their children in any way except for when the children request it. Not only that, but they let their children (of all ages) make all their own decisions - about whether they'll brush their teeth, what to eat for breakfast, how to spend their day, when to go to bed, etc. They do not discipline their children, for they have no rules or hierarchy, as one "mom" said.


News like this troubles me almost as much as the economic state of our country, the latest natural disaster or the crime rate. In fact, I think it troubles me more. These parents are directly disobeying God's directives to them concerning the role of parents. I doubt they care about that, but I do. These children are going to grow up and enter our world as adults some day, some how...

Baffling reports of negligence, hate crimes, lawlessness, greed, and loose living leave me feeling slightly nauseated and more than a little fearful of what my children will face. These issues, like giants playing havoc in our land, send me running for cover and wishing I could just check out.

Until the story of Caleb (and Joshua) and the ten other spies reminds me to put things in perspective.

When the 12 spies returned from spying out the land of Canaan, the land of milk and honey promised to the Hebrew people by their God, the people got a bad report. The report wasn't bad because it was faulty. Actually the report was right on target. There was abundant fruit in the land, but there were also giants there - or at least very large people - with fortified cities and strong armies. The report was accurate, if not slightly exaggerated.

Numbers 13:32 says, "So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report..." not because the report was untrue, but because it left out the most important fact.

Caleb supplied that missing fact.

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, 
and said, "We should by all means go up 
and take possession of it, 
for we shall surely overcome it."
(Numbers 13:30)

The people had forgotten, far to easily, that God had already promised to give them the land. He didn't promise to let them see it and then they'd have to earn it themselves. He had said He would go before them, drive out their enemies, and give them the land.

The 10 spies paid a huge price, their lives, for giving out their bad report. But the people who listened to the report and acted upon it accordingly paid a price as well. They did not get to go into the land. They sealed their fate with their lack of faith in God and by putting their trust in the reports of men instead.

Every time we listen to or watch the news we need to think of Caleb and ask ourselves, "What would Caleb say about this report? It may be accurate, but are they leaving out God? Am I hearing God's perspective of this situation or man's?"

Yes, there is some awfully bad news out there. But if your daily dose of world news is causing you to lose sleep at night, taking away your joy, putting fear in your heart instead of hope, or causing you to hate the people of this world instead of loving them with the love of Christ, then it's time to make a change. The "giants" of this world should not cause us to turn the other way and run; they should cause us to take up the armor of God and enter the battle with prayer on our lips and love in our heart. 

So today when I listen to the news - and who knows what will be at the top of the agenda today - I'll listen with ears like Caleb's. I'll sift the fact from the fiction, measure it all for what it's worth, and then stand on the Word of God to deal with it. The news may be bad, dear friend, but our God is still good and He is definitely still in control.