Monday, February 11, 2013

Monkey Business!


Numbers 32:7-9 Why do you discourage the Israelites from going over into the land the LORD has given them? (8) This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. (9) After they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the LORD had given them. 

Wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel.... Which he suggests it would, should they settle on that side Jordan, since they would lose the assistance of two of their tribes, even two thirds of one of their standards in fighting with their enemies and subduing their land; and besides it might be thought that this request of theirs not only proceeded from selfish views and a love of ease, which might set a bad example to others, but carried in it a distrust of ever being able to enter into, at least to conquer and possess, the land of Canaan, and so might have a tendency to discourage their brethren. 

Four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the center. Suspended from the top of that pole was a bunch of bananas.One of the hungry monkeys started climbing the pole to get something to eat, but just as he reached out to grab a banana, he was doused with a torrent of cold water. Squealing, he scampered down the pole and abandoned his attempt to feed himself. Each monkey made a similar attempt, and each one was drenched with cold water. After making several attempts, they finally gave up. 

Then researchers removed one of the monkeys from the room and replaced him with a new monkey. As the newcomer began to climb the pole, the other three grabbed him and pulled him down to the ground. After trying to climb the pole several times and being dragged down by the others, he finally gave up and never attempted to climb the pole again. 

The researchers replaced the original monkeys, one by one, with new ones, and each time a new monkey was brought in, he would be dragged down by the others before he could reach the bananas. In time, only monkeys who had never received a cold shower were in the room, but none of them would climb the pole. They prevented one another from climbing, but none of them knew why. 

Perhaps others have dragged you down in life. They’ve discouraged you from dreaming. Maybe they resented the fact that you wanted to move up or to do something significant with your life. Or maybe they were trying to protect you from pain or disappointment. Either way, you’ve been discouraged from dreaming.Take heart. It’s never too late to start dreaming and pursuing your dreams. 


"Lord, help me to not allow discouragements to keep me from dreaming. There are always people around who just want to maintain status quo and never go forward. They will attempt to pull anyone down who begins to dream. They will pull down through gossip, backbiting, tale toating...Lord, I want to be smarter than the monkeys that we looked at today. Help me to encourage, not discourage. In Jesus name, amen!"