“We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”- Numbers 13:30 NIV
JUST A little over a week before taking office, the then President –Elect Donald Trump, got into a shouting match with CNN reporter Jim Acosta, and declared that he was “fake news” – referring both to the reporter and news Network itself. Since then, the term has become part of pop culture jargon, especially on social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
“Fake news”, according to the University of Michigan, is defined as “news stories that are false: the story itself is fabricated, with no verifiable facts, sources or quotes.” And with influx of new forms of media and technology it is easy for anyone wherever they are in the world to make anything up. This has forced even reliable sources of media to create fabricated stories to keep pace with the abundance of news outlets.
So with a plethora of conflicting news stories – how do we choose what to believe in as Christians? What should we do when even when the doctor presents us with a report that seems indisputable?
The story of the 12 spies in Numbers is a classic example. They were sent out by Moses to spy out the land of Canaan to see what the land was like, whether the people living there were strong or weak, rich or poor, and whether their cities had walls or not (Numbers 13:17). However, upon their return, 10 of them brought back an “evil” report to the children of Israel saying that, the men were giants and of great stature – and they felt like grasshoppers in their sight. When the people heard this, The Bible says that the “congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night.” (Numbers 14:1-3) But was their report actually true? Yes, perhaps the people big and strong and their cities walls where massive. But was it right for them to conclude that they couldn’t possess the land?
The answer is No because remember there were 12 spies not 10. The other two – Joshua and Caleb took the Lord at his word that the land is a land that flows with milk and honey, and concluded, instead that the people of Israel “should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” In other words, they gave the people “faith news” – however the congregation choose to believe something that wasn’t true – which we can call “fake news”.
This week, I encourage you to take God at his Word, because the Bible says that his word does not return to him void, not only that but that every word of God proves true – all we need to do is have faith in his word and this only comes from hearing the Word of God. Therefore, the word for you this week is believe in “Faith news!”