Archive - May 2015

Lessons Learned: What Charlie Brown Could’ve Taught the Israelites

Lessons Learned: What Charlie Brown Could’ve Taught the Israelites

The most referenced football clip in our house is the one from Charlie Brown Thanksgiving; the part where Lucy is holding the football and convinces Charlie Brown, despite her lack of dependability in the past, this time, this one time, she really is going to hold the ball still for him while he tries to kick it.
charlie brown
Picture it along with me; Charlie Brown ends up flat on his back, having made the mistake of trusting Lucy AGAIN. In our family, when we are having a discussion we’ve had before, we will often say “are you going to be Charlie Brown with the football?” ie…


Are you going to make the same mistake over and over again?

Sometimes when I’m reading or studying Old Testament scripture I find myself wondering, “Really? WHAT were the Israelites thinking?” Are they going to make the same mistake again?

After God delivers His millions of people from slavery in Egypt and they cross the Red Sea, there is a point when the people are on the edge of the Promised Land. God says to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” (‭Numbers‬ ‭13:2). When the 13 men came back 40 days later they told the whole assembly of people how amazing the Land was, but also emphasized the Promised Land was occupied by a sizable group of people and they feared Israel would be defeated. Immediately we read about the emotional defeat experienced by the majority of the crowd; tearing of clothes, weeping loudly, and blaming Moses for bringing them to the point of certain death. In fact, they were so paralyzed by fear, they were willing to return to the “comfort” of slavery in Egypt!

Really??? Did they miss the part where God said “which I am giving to the Israelites?”

Go ahead and Google how many times God told the Israelites up to this point “the land which I am giving to you.” Dozens of times the Lord promised this and dozens of times He made the impossible happen to get them to the edge of Canaan. Yet when faced with a difficult situation, the Israelites end up missing the football again by trusting in the opinion of a few, giving into fear, and admitting defeat before giving God a chance to intercede on behalf of His own promise and nation.

Do I let fear keep me from the next step forward? Do I trust in opinions of others? Do difficult situations make me want to settle for being in the “comfortable bondage” I’ve always known? My reasoning skills have looked more like the Israelites in my lifetime than I like to admit. The people of Israel needed to trust God was holding the ball steady. The Lord wasn’t worried about the size or strength of the Canaanites. He was giving His people the land; they only needed to say yes to Him to receive it.

Lucy was never trustworthy with the football. She always brought Charlie Brown to the edge of victory, only to rip it away. Whenever we trust anyone or anything to hold the ball steady for us other than the One who created us, we are setting ourselves up to be disappointed. This year, as you think on how to move forward with the steps God may be asking you to take or the goals you’ve set, how can you stay standing? How can we make sure we only allow Him to clutch the ball of our future?

Can we ask Him what our first yes of obedience needs to be? Then friends, let’s be brave enough to go after the kick.

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