Blog Shelach-Lecha 26 Sivan 5778 בלוג שְׁלַח-לְךָ, כ”ו סיון תשע”ח
The part of this portion Shelach-Lecha that I would like to focus on refers to the 12 princes of each tribe who were sent to scout out the land that the Israelites were about to enter. These leaders were not wishy-washy rather they were men who had been chosen for their qualities and strength of character. Moshe’s instructions to them were to bring back a detailed report on everything they surveyed there. Keep in mind that the Creator had already told them that He was going to rid the land of its inhabitants due to their level of debauchery. He didn’t want the Israelites to intermingle with these people who would have been a terrible influence on them. The men returned with a report that was true, but the negative perspective that they carried back with them was merely from their own perception. Today we see on the television what is called “Fake News”. The sad thing is that most people tend to believe what they hear instead of checking things out for themselves. It’s always important to listen to other perspectives before making any decision about what is true or not.
These scouts had seen the work of the Bore Olam; they knew that they had not won their freedom and subsequent battles simply by the power of their own hands. He had promised the Israelites that He would always be with them. So, what happened to make ten of them change their attitudes and become so negative? I call it perception. It is the way in which we see ourselves. Our Rabbi Yeshua told us “You shall know the Truth (meaning the Creator) and He shall set you free”. The Hebrew word for truth is EMET, אמת – aleph, mem, nun. The first letter “aleph” stands for anochi from – אָנֹכִי from the beginning of the ten commandments which is talking about the Bore Olam. When we remove the aleph, we are left with “met – מת” which in Hebrew means death. In other words, Truth removed from the Creator leads us to death. These men thought that they had to do battle on their own. Their imagination went wild and they created “fake news”.
In Numbers 13:32 – 33 we read… 32 And they spread an evil report of the land which they had scout for the children of Israel, saying: ‘The land, through which we have passed to scout it out, is a land that eats the inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 And there we saw Giants, the sons of Anak, (who come from the Nephilim); and we were in our own sight like grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.’ We are as we think we are. If we think we are a nobody, we are a nobody. If we think we don’t count or we’re not intelligent, that’s who we, are even if it’s not true. This can also be false humility. You see, the Anakim no longer existed; they had been wiped out with the flood in the days of Noah. It was all in their imagination. By doing this, we remove the Creator from our lives and we think that we can only depend upon ourselves. In the past I told you that we don’t need to depend upon the Creator; we need to depend upon ourselves. Am I contradicting myself? No, we are responsible for the things that we are fully able to do for ourselves and the things that are impossible for us to do, we leave in the Hands of the Bore Olam. However, let us not formulate impossibilities or put up walls which are excuses for self-defeat. When I am asked if I believe in miracles, I personally don’t believe in “hocus-pocus”; as a scientist I have to say that I need to examine the evidence before I come to any conclusions.
Do you know that if you don’t believe in yourself, you are sinning? Psalm 139 tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and that we are to search our hearts asking Him to show us where we fall short and then to lead us in the right way and HE DOES. We need to pray that HE would show us our areas of where we do not believe in ourselves, our self-imposed restrictions and that He would liberate us from them so that we can freely serve Him!
The problem with the scouts was that they thought that they had no support from above; simply put, they didn’t trust Him. My definition of a miracle is something that the Creator does that is impossible for man to do for himself. The Creator won’t do what man can do for himself. The picture of the crossing of the Red Sea is a perfect example of this. They had to push their carts to the other side by themselves, but He was the One who miraculously parted the Sea. These princes saw themselves as grasshoppers and believed that they could never have defeated those so-called giants. Their self-perception was a remnant of the slave mentality ingrained in them from Egypt, to the point that they decided to choose a new leader and return to Egypt. Despite this Moshe continued to intercede for them.
How can we apply this to our lives today? Ask yourself these questions…what is limiting me at this time in my life that is not allowing me to do what I really want to do? Are my fears real or imagined? If the Creator is with us, who can be against us? By the way, sometimes failure is good since it helps us to grow stronger. How many of us give up after one defeat? That too is a sin. Keep on, don’t run away, face your situations. Don’t be afraid of the giants you have created in your own minds. Many people give up on their dreams; without even taking their first step they are defeated before they even begin. Please ask yourself this question…what is holding me back?