Get Your Facts Straight!



Recently I was reading the passage in Numbers 32 where some people from the tribes of Rueben and Gad came to Moses after defeating the Amorites and acquiring vast amounts of grazing land. The men proposed that, since they had large herds of livestock, they be given the newly acquired land on the east of the Jordan River instead of taking a portion of the land yet to be conquered on the west of the Jordan.

I guess Moses must have been having one of those days because he totally went off on them assuming that they were trying to get out of the battle ahead. The men let Moses finish venting and then explained that they intended to go with the rest of the Israelites and would fight alongside them until everyone got their allotted portion of land. Moses agreed, then, and the confusion was resolved, but I just love how the scriptures don’t hide anything. Not only is it instructional to see how these things are handled, but I find it comforting that people as great as Moses could also have trouble communicating.

It reminded me of a very funny incident that happened when I was working in the children’s ministry at my church. One day I received a phone call from a man at a church in Houston who called to say how impressed he and his family had been with our children’s program on a recent visit. He particularly wanted information about the resources that we used to teach through the Bible in five years. I told him that I would be happy to help his church and asked what church he was with.

“Gloria Sway,” he answered.
“Gloria Sway?” I carefully enunciated.
“Yes. That’s right. Gloria Sway,” he responded.
“Ohhh-kaaay,” I said as I wrote it down and began wondering what kind of a cult group this was and who the heck “Gloria” was. I decided I’d have to do some research into it when I had time.

Later in the day, as I was making phone calls, my eye fell again on the notepad, and I began to run the name over and over in my mind looking for anything I’d missed earlier. Suddenly, it hit me – GLORIOUS WAY. Oh! The Glorious Way Church.

After composing myself and wiping my eyes, I decided I should give my friends and co-workers a good giggle, too. In the process of sharing the story it occurred to us that there is a very real spiritual message in this silliness. There can, indeed, be a vast chasm between facts and truth. I certainly had the “facts” straight. I’d even verified them. But I had totally missed the “truth”. How careful we must be when we start “sharing” our amazement or outrage over some piece of information that we not only have the “facts” straight, but that we understand the “truth” of the matter as well.

One response to “Get Your Facts Straight!

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