OUR WORDS CAN BE A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY
“Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you” (Numbers 14:28).
The above verse is quite sobering as it states that God will do to you what you have spoken in His ears. Probably everybody reading this devotional knows the Bible story of how the Israelites murmured for forty years in God’s ears as they wandered around in the wilderness.
This mega-group of people was quite fluent in expressing their fear that they would die in the wilderness. They murmured to Moses, “… Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness…” (Exodus 14:11)? When they murmured about their circumstances, they were actually murmuring against God Himself (14:27). Their words were a self-fulfilling prophecy. They died in the wilderness according to their own words.
I heard of a lady who really wanted a baby girl. She was pregnant and saying that it would just kill her to have another boy. She died in childbirth, giving birth to a baby boy.
When we read in this devotional’s verse that God said, “… so will I do to you,” this is not making God the author of dying in the wilderness or dying in childbirth. God gives us the opportunity to choose life or death (Deuteronomy 30:19), and death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:24). People choose death by their choice of words and God will let them have what they said because He gave them the choice. Most often, this choice is made out of ignorance. According to Hosea 4:6, ignorance [of God’s Word] results in perishing [death], even among God’s people. I will not be going around saying, “I’m scared to death,” giving the devil an invitation to my life.
Because of fear, words like, “We are going to die in the wilderness” seemed to uncontrollably ooze out of the mouths of the children of Israel. Finding food to eat was not as easy as going through the drive-thru at Burger King and ordering the dollar special and some ice water. Moses could not buy hotdogs at Walmart and grill them for supper. They couldn’t order pizza out for an easy meal. They had to trust God for their food and water when it appeared there was no food and water available. They majored in murmuring because of fear of lack.
These slaves who were miraculously led out of Egypt doubted God’s love and care for them in the wilderness. Why else would they murmur so much? They murmured to the point where they were thinking of going back to Egypt (14.4).
It’s somewhat of an easy thing for me to see that they should not have been murmuring and making confessions about dying in the wilderness. It’s easy for most Christians to see that the Israelites of the Old Testament did it wrong and not to recognize that we do the same type of things in our own lives today.
My friend, don’t make the mistake the children of Israel did. Your wilderness journey might be hot. It might be long. You might wonder how your basic needs will be met or feel afraid that you might die. Remember this: You need to know and believe in the love God has for you (1 John 4:16). This love will cast out the fear (1 John 4:18) that causes murmuring. There is no need to murmur when feeling secure in God’s love and provision.
Instead of doing death talk in your personal wilderness journey, I encourage you to do “life talk,” such as, “He will satisfy me with a long life” (Psalm 91:16). The principle of God doing what we speak into His ears will work for the positive as well as negative. Whatever your personal journey may be, learn a lesson from the Old Testament Israelites. Let God’s love casts out fear in your life so that you can speak words of life rather than words of death into your situation. In doing so, you will experience the positive side of receiving what you speak into His ears.
Abba Father: I choose to renew my mind with Your Word so that I can know and believe in the love You have for me.