Land of Tech and Honey
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.
The people of Israel were afraid. Even though God had promised them a land of milk and honey, they could not see past their own fears. For forty years, their fears held them back until Joshua led them against Jericho.
When fear controls us, fear destroys us. We can only trust one fear, and that is the fear of the Lord.
Why then do so many people let themselves be controlled by their fear of technology? Hollywood tries to capitalize on this fear all the time. Think, Terminator. Frankenstein. The Borg of Star Trek.
Or Darth Vader, who let technology and fear and the desire for power overwhelm his spiritual growth. He abandoned the light side of the Force for the darkness of fear.
Thankfully, we have something more powerful than the Force. God’s strength does not depend upon our own efforts. God will be strong no matter what we do. When we rest in that strength, God himself fills us with his spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Then God himself sets us free from all fears, except the holy and righteous fear of God.
This doesn’t mean we won’t suffer. We will. God did not promise that no one would be hurt when the Israelites invaded Canaan. Neither does he promise us it will be easy. There will be casualties. It is going to be a hard fight to continue to see humanity as something more than another machine to upgrade.
We will lose some battles, to be sure. But the end is certain. God—not our devices, not our strategy, not our tools or efforts—will determine the end.
He invites us to use technology toward his final purposes for the world—to serve our neighbors and our God. And he promises to be with us in the task. When God’s people overcome our fears, God will fill us with power and love and self-discipline to do what he asks of us.
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:
How does technology cause you fear or anxiety? Do you worry about your children? about temptation? about losing your humanity to machines? How can you invite God into your anxiety?
Dear God, technology is such a strange thing. I know the idea is bigger than computers and internet and smartphones, but these new technologies seem to be the ones that dominate my daily life.
I confess that I sometimes use these gifts in ways that do not honor you or those around me. Forgive me. Help me to fear you and trust in you, and fill me with your spirit of power and love and self-discipline. Amen.
READ THE PASSAGE IN CONTEXT:
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! … We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!”
… 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. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle.
Numbers 13:27-28, 31; 14:6-10 (from Numbers 13:27-14:10)