Viral Fear

Viral Fear in Israel

The Infection: Irrational Fear

Transmission

Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night.

(Numbers 14:1)

Symptoms of Viral Fear

1. Despair

Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained.

(Numbers 14:2)

2. Amplification

Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder!

(Numbers 14:3)

3. Idolatry

Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?

(Numbers 14:3)

4. Rejection of Leadership

Let us choose a new leader…

(Numbers 14:4)

5. Hatred of the Minority report

Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”

But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb.

(Numbers 14:6–10)

6. Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

When Moses reported the Lord’s words to all the Israelites, the people were filled with grief. Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. “Let’s go,” they said. “We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the Lord has promised us.”

But Moses said, “Why are you now disobeying the Lord’s orders to return to the wilderness? It won’t work. Do not go up into the land now. You will only be crushed by your enemies because the Lord is not with you. When you face the Amalekites and Canaanites in battle, you will be slaughtered. The Lord will abandon you because you have abandoned the Lord.”

But the people defiantly pushed ahead toward the hill country, even though neither Moses nor the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant left the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in those hills came down and attacked them and chased them back as far as Hormah.

(Numbers 14:39–45)

Containment

“And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they are!” Numbers 14:11–12

“…when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.”[8]

The Cure

The Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that the Israelites were approaching on the road through Atharim. So he attacked the Israelites and took some of them as prisoners. Then the people of Israel made this vow to the Lord: “If you will hand these people over to us, we will completely destroy all their towns.” The Lord heard the Israelites’ request and gave them victory over the Canaanites. The Israelites completely destroyed them and their towns, and the place has been called Hormah ever since.

(Numbers 21:1–3)

Immunization

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Pastor, FACWS.org — Boards: Boards: MonarchNC.org envisionatlanta.org saalliance.org — MDiv SEBTS, BA Duke

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Benjamin Marsh

Benjamin Marsh

Pastor, FACWS.org — Boards: Boards: MonarchNC.org envisionatlanta.org saalliance.org — MDiv SEBTS, BA Duke

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