Topic: Looking For Canaan Land In Vain
Series: Pinky And The Brain
Episode: Brain's Way
Lesson PDF link: 25b.pdf
We are discussing the bad side of this issue or disobedience. For this part of the lesson set, we are using an episode of Pinky and The Brain called "Brain's Way" to illustrate this part of the lesson. This lesson shows a contrast to the Beatitudes in the character named Brain. We take a look at an Israelite rebellion costing them Canaan Land and comparing the Christian experience as going after the Promised Land with our Christian walk and then inheriting it.
Scriptures Used Include: Numbers 14: 1-45; Matthew 5: 1-11; Nehemiah 5: 1-19
What did we learn last time? This part of the lesson is the reverse of the last one. Have you heard God's call to do something and didn't do it, or have you thought that you heard God tell you to do something but didn't pray and discern well enough and it turns out that God wasn't in it? In this part of the lesson, we are discussing disobedience and its effects. At first, these are physical effects.
We then are going to link these effects to the gloomy spiritual outcome that comes with chronic disobedience and not repenting with a sincere heart. Today, we are going to see a Pinky and The Brain episode called "Brain's Way". Afterwards, we will have a Bible Study and discussion.
Cartoon Show: And now the Pinky and The Brain episode "Brain's Way":
Bible Study I: Numbers 14: 1-45
The Bible States:
1 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.
2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness!
3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?"
4 And they said to each other, "We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt."
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there.
6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes
7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, "The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.
8 If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.
9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them."
10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites.
11 The LORD said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?
12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they."
13 Moses said to the LORD, "Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them.
14 And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, LORD, are with these people and that you, LORD, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
15 If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say,
16 'The LORD was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.'
17 "Now may the Lord's strength be displayed, just as you have declared:
18 'The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.'
19 In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now."
20 The LORD replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked.
21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth,
22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times -
23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.
24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.
25 Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea."
26 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron:
27 "How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites.
28 So tell them, 'As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say:
29 In this wilderness your bodies will fall - every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.
30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.
32 But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness.
33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness.
34 For forty years - one year for each of the forty days you explored the land - you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.'
35 I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die."
36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it -
37 these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD.
38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.
39 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly.
40 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, "Now we are ready to go up to the land the LORD promised. Surely we have sinned!"
41 But Moses said, "Why are you disobeying the LORD's command? This will not succeed!
42 Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies,
43 or the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword."
44 Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD's covenant moved from the camp.
45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.
Bible Study II Analysis And Discussion Referring To The Above:
For this lesson, we are looking at the attitude, not necessarily the situation. We are saying that The Brain is a rebellious person (much like the Israelites in this scripture). Pinky follows the crowd in this lesson, so he is rebelling with the rebel, which is equally bad in God's sight. So, for this lesson, Pinky is held in the same symbol of the Israelite rebellion as The Brain. We see that The Brain's plan is to take over the world with the help of very expensive speakers on both poles of Earth. Furthermore, The Brain's plan involves the torture of everyone on the planet (the dripping faucet), so that they will be annoyed and maddened into submission. What do you think of this plan? To finance his plan, he tries to raise money with a casino palace called Brain's Palace.
For this lesson we are going to say to take over the world is symbolic of Canaan Land. In other words, taking over the world is the goal in The Brain's mind. Why do you think a person like The Brain would want this goal? We are going to look at this cartoon from a Biblical standpoint to refute The Brain's plan.
The Bible States In Matthew 5: 1-11
Mt 5:1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,
Mt 5:2 and he began to teach them, saying:
Mt 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mt 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Mt 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Mt 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Mt 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Mt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Mt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Mt 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mt 5:11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me."
The Bible clearly states that God disagrees wholeheartedly with The Brain's scheme to take over the world. The Brain is not meek, poor in spirit, or persecuted for righteousness. It looks like The Brain is exactly the opposite of the Bible scriptures called the 'Beatitudes'. The Brain is also the exact opposite of Joshua and Caleb who we looked at earlier.
What do you think about the old lady's "moneylender's joke" ("Pay me back or I crack your back")? It sounds to me like this old lady isn't that great with her attitude and may be taking advantage. Notice also, that she brags about her collection of stuff. It looks like that she is glad that these people couldn't pay in a very real sense. Let's assume that this lady is in her heart mean- spirited and taking advantage just to get a bunch of stuff. The Bible refutes this woman too.
The Bible States In Nehemiah 5: 1-19 (Note: We are looking at the sections about usary and not the building of this wall.):
Ne 5:1 Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their Jewish brothers.
Ne 5:2 Some were saying, "We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain."
Ne 5:3 Others were saying, "We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine."
Ne 5:4 Still others were saying, "We have had to borrow money to pay the king's tax on our fields and vineyards.
Ne 5:5 Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our countrymen and though our sons are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others."
Ne 5:6 When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry.
Ne 5:7 I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials. I told them, "You are exacting usury from your own countrymen!" So I called together a large meeting to deal with them
Ne 5:8 and said: "As far as possible, we have bought back our Jewish brothers who were sold to the Gentiles. Now you are selling your brothers, only for them to be sold back to us!" They kept quiet, because they could find nothing to say.
Ne 5:9 So I continued, "What you are doing is not right. Shouldn't you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies?
Ne 5:10 I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let the exacting of usury stop!
Ne 5:11 Give back to them immediately their fields, vineyards, olive groves and houses, and also the usury you are charging them - the hundredth part of the money, grain, new wine and oil."
Ne 5:12 "We will give it back," they said. "And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say." Then I summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take an oath to do what they had promised.
Ne 5:13 I also shook out the folds of my robe and said, "In this way may God shake out of his house and possessions every man who does not keep this promise. So may such a man be shaken out and emptied!" At this the whole assembly said, "Amen," and praised the LORD. And the people did as they had promised.
Ne 5:14 Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year - twelve years - neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor.
Ne 5:15 But the earlier governors - those preceding me - placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that.
Ne 5:16 Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land.
Ne 5:17 Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations.
Ne 5:18 Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people.
Ne 5:19 Remember me with favor, O my God, for all I have done for these people.
Let's again assume that this lady has a bad attitude and doesn't in her heart care if The Brain succeeds or not (even though it may very well look like she does care on the surface) and that she just wants to make her considerable profit. Let's say that this old lady is actually exacting usury on The Brain. Why is exacting usury a bad thing? We need to take Nehemiah's example here and apply righteousness to our own lives. The way The Brain is acting with the construction workers (who look like and do know more than The Brain does about building this casino), The Brain's song, and wasted money further proves The Brain's rebellious heart. The Brain wants to find Canaan Land his way and not The Lord's way.
At first, he is booed and hissed at. Someone famous then hails him as the latest thing. The Brain is lured into a false sense of security. After all of the warnings, you would think he would not have gone this far. The old lady that symbolizes usury is the key here. The Brain should have stopped there (in other words, he should not even have built Brain's Palace). Can you see like I do that this is a foreshadowing clue of God not wanting this plan?
Later on, we see that The Brain is actually making a name for himself in record albums and magazines. He further proves he is exactly the opposite of what the Bible is teaching by this. One of his albums actually says "Come Worship Me". This is of course extremely dangerous because only the one and only Triune God is God. The Brain is making himself out to be a god. This is idolatry at its supreme height. He is even getting kids to sing his tunes. Eventually, it looks as if God has had enough of Brain's Palace and gives Pinky to confusion. Pinky is allowed to install games that only make people winners and bankrupts the casino. Because of his sin against God, The Brain loses everything including his freedom (just like the Israelites who rebelled). Now, The Brain is forced to work for something. Can you remember what that something is?
The Brain is forced to try to perform to buy back the lab. In real life, since The Brain is many millions of dollars in debt he would not be able to. According to this cartoon series, Brain is middle-aged at two years old. The Brain would never see freedom really again to make another plan very easily. He is singing his song 50 times a night according to this episode to pay for ACME Labs. He has to remember, he did it Brain's Way, not God's way all the rest of his life (of course, that is in real-life conditions).
Have you heard the analogy that we as Christians are looking to go to Canaan Land too and possess it? I have heard many preachers refer to Canaan Land as our goal. Our goal is to go to Heaven. As Christians, we know and believe we are guaranteed Heaven if we follow God's laws and accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. Neither the Israelites saw their Canaan Land, nor did The Brain. According to scriptures, Heaven is our home. As well, according to scriptures, we don't have to take over the world because Earth is part of our inheritance. If we hold true to God's way, not our way, we will gain our Canaan Land. We won't be looking in vain.
What have we learned? How can we apply all of this to our lives today and in our lives as a whole?