WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 3, 2020
TOPIC: STOP SPREADING FALSE RUMOURS!
BY T. O. BANSO
“But the other men replied, ‘Those people are much too strong for us.’ Then they started spreading rumors and saying, ‘We won’t be able to grow anything in that soil. And the people are like giants. In fact, we saw the Nephilim who are the ancestors of the Anakim. They were so big that we felt as small as grasshoppers” (Numbers 13:31-33 Contemporary English Version).
Psychologists have found that people spread rumours for about six reasons: when there is uncertainty when they feel anxiety when the information is important when they believe the information, when it helps their self-image, and when it helps their social status (socialpyschologyonline.com).
A rumour is defined as a piece of information, or story that people talk about, but may not be true (The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary). Rumours are unverified or unconfirmed reports. They may or may not be true.
Rumours are powerful because, many times, people tend to believe and act on them, even when they’re not true. Acting on an untrue piece of information or a story has consequences. I am concerned, in this message, about false rumours–pieces of information, stories or reports that are untrue.
False rumours have consequences upon individuals, communities, organizations, governments, and even nations. Don’t start or spread false rumours about yourself, anyone, organization or government through the words of mouth or writing via letters, SMS, or posts in social media. Somebody may have started it, but you don’t have to spread it, if you’re not sure it’s true.
The Bible describes the church of the living God as the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). That’s not talking about a building. The church is the people – body of believers, those who are called out from the world, Christians. It’s a sin for a Christian to spread false rumours. All liars shall have their part in the lake, which burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8).
A false rumour is a bad report. When you say about yourself or others what is contrary to the Word of God, you’re spreading rumours! When you say what the Word of God has not said about you, your family, etc, you’re spreading false rumours!
In Numbers 13, the ten spies came back from exploring the Promised Land with a bad report, which was contrary to the promise of God that He was giving the land to the Israelites (verse 1). These tribal leaders started spreading false rumours, but Caleb and Joshua didn’t join them.
Verses 31-33 say, “But the other men replied, ‘Those people are much too strong for us.’ Then they started spreading rumors and saying, ‘We won’t be able to grow anything in that soil. And the people are like giants. In fact, we saw the Nephilim who are the ancestors of the Anakim. They were so big that we felt as small as grasshoppers” (Contemporary English Version).
That was after 40 days of spying the land. They said the land was flowing with milk and honey (verse 27). But they placed undue emphasis on the fact that there were giants in the land and their cities were walled (verses 28-29).
Caleb tried to calm down the crowd. He told them that they should go and take the land because they could. But the other spies, excluding Joshua, started spreading false rumours – a bad report – which discouraged the people. “So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?’ So they said to one another, ‘Let us select a leader and return to Egypt’” (Numbers 14:1-4 New King James Version).
Joshua and Caleb, building faith in the people to go and possess the land, said God would give it to them if they obeyed Him, but they wanted to stone Moses and Aaron (verses 6-10). These leaders’ false rumours cost the Israelites forty years of wandering in the wilderness. All of them, 20 years upward, except Joshua and Caleb, perished in the wilderness (verses 33-34).
Don’t spread false rumours; don’t believe or act on them. These spies said the land they spied devoured its inhabitants (verse 32). But they met people there! Yes, there were giants in the land, but they never called the spies grasshoppers! They called themselves so. Even if that were true, the giants were not bigger than their God. Isaiah 40:22 says of God, “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers” (New King James Version).These inhabitants include the giants! They didn’t have to discourage other Israelites with their false rumours.
Don’t start or spread false rumours. David said, “I have heard the many rumors about me, and I am surrounded by terror” (Psalm 31:13 New Living Translation). That’s what false rumours do. It could surround you and your hearers or readers with terror. That’s why Mark 13:7 says about the signs of the end that when believers hear of wars and rumors of wars, they shouldn’t be troubled; for such things must happen, but it’s not yet the end.
Don’t spread false rumours. Speaking about the plot against him, Jeremiah said the people of Judah said, among others things, “Let’s spread rumors about him and ignore what he says” (Jeremiah 17:18 New Living Translation). Jeremiah, complaining to God about his unpopular ministry said, “I have heard the many rumors about me. They call me ‘The Man Who Lives in Terror.” (Jeremiah 20:10a New Living Translation).
In Nehemiah 6:6, Sanballat, the enemy of the Jews, in an open letter sent to Nehemiah lied that there were rumours that he was rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem so that he might be their king. Nehemiah replied that it wasn’t true, but his invention. Don’t spread false rumours about those in authorities or anyone. Isaiah 58:9c says to stop “spreading vicious rumors! (New Living Translation).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: My mouth shall declare the truth; I shall not spread false rumours about myself or anyone. I will not discourage other people or defame their character with false rumours.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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