The Minority Report
In the movie, "Minority Report," a system is developed to catch criminals before they commit crime. The system is controversial because it arrests the criminal even if the criminal had changed his/her mind about it. The basis of the system is three psychic siblings connected to a super computer. The computer is able to transform the premonitions into a visual data. The police are dispatch only when two or all three have the same premonition. Occasionally one of the siblings has a different premonition, but because it cannot be confirmed by the other two siblings it is often ignored. The video, however, is saved in a directory called: minority report. This premonition often has information that would further clarify the one premonition confirmed. In fact, it could reverse an arrest made based on the majority report. It is not that the files here are not often true; it is that the majority report is trusted more than the minority report. Needless to say, the consequences can be devastating.
A minority report was also ignored in Kadesh. And, the consequences were devastating. If you recall, the Israelites had reached the borders of the Promised Land: Canaan. They sent spies to scope the land and bring a report. The spies came back with fantastic report of the land. The spies brought specimens of the fruit, showing the fertility of the soil. It was in the time of ripe grapes, and they brought a cluster of grapes so large that it was carried between two men. They also brought of the figs and pomegranates which grew there in abundance. The people rejoiced that they were to come into possession of so goodly a land, and they listened intently as the report was brought to Moses, that not a word should escape them. "We came unto the land whither thou sentest us," the spies began, "and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it." The people were enthusiastic; they would eagerly obey the voice of the Lord, and go up at once to possess the land. But, after describing the beauty and fertility of the land, all but two of the spies enlarged upon the difficulties and dangers that lay before the Israelites should they undertake the conquest of Canaan (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 387)
Now the scene changed. Hope and courage gave place to cowardly despair, as the spies uttered the sentiments of their unbelieving hearts, which were filled with discouragement prompted by Satan. Their unbelief cast a gloomy shadow over the congregation, and the mighty power of God, so often manifested in behalf of the chosen nation, was forgotten. The people did not wait to reflect; they did not reason that He who had brought them thus far would certainly give them the land; they did not call to mind how wonderfully God had delivered them from their oppressors, cutting a path through the sea and destroying the pursuing hosts of Pharaoh. They left God out of the question, and acted as though they must depend solely on the power of arms. In their unbelief they limited the power of God and distrusted the hand that had hitherto safely guided them. And they repeated their former error of murmuring against Moses and Aaron. "This, then, is the end of our high hopes," they said. "This is the land we have traveled all the way from Egypt to possess." They accused their leaders of deceiving the people and bringing trouble upon Israel. (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 388)
At this site Moses and Aaron fell on their faces. The two other spies, Joshua and Caleb, discerning the severity of the situation, tried to reason with the people. We read in Numbers 14,
Num 14:6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
Num 14:7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
Num 14:8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.
Num 14:9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
Num 14:10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones.
The Lord intervened by appearing as light in the tabernacle. Everyone hushed. But, their fate was set. In their rebellion the people had exclaimed, "Would God we had died in this wilderness!" Now this prayer was to be granted. The Lord declared: "As ye have spoken in Mine ears, so will I do to you: your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness, and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward. . . . But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised." (PP 388). By not hearing the minority report it delayed the fulfilling of the promise 40 years. And most of them would not see it fulfilled.
How about us? Where are we now? Are we wandering in the dessert until our rebellious generation dies off? If so, what majority report have we heard, and what minority report have we ignored? Ellen White continually said that Christ could have come in her time. She says,
"Had Adventists, after the great disappointment in 1844, held fast their faith, and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward…For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord's professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years" (Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 67-69).
I ask again, have we chosen to ignore a minority report also? How long will we be wandering in this spiritual wilderness? It seems clear that the only way to prevent more delay is to turn to God in repentance for "the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord's professed people." How long will it take for us to do just that?