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The Downside of Democracy

Voting always divides

After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea  and along the Jordan Valley.”

But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” NUMBERS 13:25-30 NLT

Voting ignites our deepest fears

But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”

Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. 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. “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! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!” NUMBERS 13:31-33; 14:1-4

When I am being led by fear I am not being led by God!

Voting can bring out the worst in us all

Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. 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 14:5-10 NLT

The majority is not always moral

the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed. LUKE 23:23 NLT

There is only one vote that matters forever

Choose today whom you will serve. JOSHUA 24:14-15 NLT



If you want your life to change, then change what you are voting for.

And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’” JOSHUA 1:9-11 ESV

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My Notes

Personal Reflection Guide

Find a quiet place where you can shut out the noise of the world around you. Release any burden of stress you may be carrying about the current election season. Take a few moments to still yourself and center your thoughts on God. When you are ready, begin a conversation with him. Allow God to remind you that he is always in control, regardless of who might be in charge. Be reminded that God is not wringing his hands about who is going to win any election. Politics is a subject that elicits deep passions and emotions. What feelings are you experiencing in this season? Are there areas where politics is causing division in your life or relationships? Ask God to reveal any areas where you are allowing fears to guide you instead of trusting him. As you sit with God, share with him those hopes and fears. Ask him to remind you that he is fully in control and completely trustworthy. Ask to be able to see his perspective and to be reminded that following his path will always be right, regardless of which candidates win the election. Ask him to reveal one or two ways this week that you can avoid becoming emotionally entangled with a divisive voting process to determine who will serve us. Instead, think of a way you can focus on choosing whom you will serve and how to serve God best in this season.

Discussion Questions

  1. What have you been learning about yourself, God or others in your personal Bible reading time? What stood out to you this week?
  2. Read Numbers 13:25-30. From governmental elections to family dinner decisions, where have you seen voting be divisive in your life?
  3. Read Numbers 13:31-14:4. It’s been said that “When I am being led by fear I am not being led by God.” In what ways have you seen this phase or concept play out in your own life?
  4. Read Numbers 14:5-10. As you think about your recent experiences with friends, family, co-workers and social media, where have you seen some of the worst of who you are surface in those interactions?
  5. Read Joshua 24:14-15. As you think about your life and choices right now, where do you need help choosing God’s ways over your old ways and what can we do to help?
  6. In what specific ways do you see God calling you to choose him during this election season and what is one practical thing you can do about it this week?