Did you ever have that almost continual “run-in” with your childhood play mates when one said you “did”, and the other said “did not”; and, before you knew it, “it was on”.

The Battle of the Ages was “on”: “did too”; “did not”; did too”; “did not”; and there simply is no ending to that madness as long as neither party of the first part or the party of the second part will “man up” and “be the adult in the room” (playground; woods; back yard; whatever); and call the whole thing to a screeching halt.

Man ‘o man; did that last paragraph bring back memories of “way back when”!

It was nothing new with “our gang”; in fact, it was probably not anything new when Fred Marvin (my dad) was growing up on the farm outside Roanoke, Alabama with his three brothers and one big sister. Although I get the heebie-jeebies thinking of my dad, Fred Marvin being so childish – even when he was a child. In fact, I get the same heebie-jeebies when I think of him as a little barefoot boy down on the farm!

Anyway, they probably played that same silly game! In fact, it has been going on, that I know of, for at least 3,490 years!

Yeah; the people of Israel played that game with Moses when he had led them out of Egypt right up to the southern border of The Promised Land!

Now, none of those people had ever been in that land before; in fact, Moses himself had never been there. All the Israeli who had seen that beautiful land had died in Egypt; and now, here are their descendants about to march in and take it back over – because, after all, it had been deeded to them by God Himself.

So, it was only natural to send out some “advance people” (spies) to see what brand of buzz-saw they were about to run into. Ten of the twelve said they could not take the land – the people were too big and mean and well prepared for warfare – can’t do it!

Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, said they could do it; they were well prepared and very capable of taking it!

And the meeting turned into a “can too”, “can not”; “can too”, “can not” shouting match! Moses finally got the floor back from both sides of the debate; and the vote was taken; and, you guessed it; God’s People said they were not able (in effect that God was not able) to take the land. The 84% majority ruled over the 16% minority. I don’t know how Moses voted since he was the moderator – but I like to think he wanted to “trust God and pass the ammunition”!

And God’s People turned back into the wilderness to spend the next forty years until all of them died, except possibly for a few of the priests, possibly some of the very young children, and definitely the aforementioned Joshua and Caleb. Not even Moses got to enter the “Promised Land” (but that was because of other reasons, which is column fodder for another day).

So, my dear reading friend; I do not know how this column came to be in your hands; but I assure you, it was not by accident. I firmly believe that The LORD caused it to happen!

Luck? No, don’t believe in luck. “Happenstance”? Nope; don’t accept that.

Providence? Now you got it! By the way, you can read this information for yourself in Numbers 13; or listen to my message this coming Sunday on WLIK at 11 a.m.; or YouTube or FaceBook, same time. Or come see us at West End Baptist Church!

So, are you with the 16% or the 84%? By the way, the Believers are going to win; so, if you want to be on the winning side; better cast your lot with those who follow God!

Don’t know how? I do; and I will share!

Tom Mooty has served as pastor of the West End Baptist Church of Newport for an aggregate of over thirty-three years. His columns appear in the Wednesday and Weekend Editions of the Newport Plain Talk. Your comments about these columns will be welcomed at tommooty15@gmail.com; or write to Tom Mooty at P.O. Box 851; Newport, TN 37822.

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