Saturday, February 23, 2013
Num. 13:25 ¶ At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land.
Num. 13:26 And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the Israelites in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land.
Num. 13:27 And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us; it flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.
Num. 13:28 Yet the people who live in the land are strong, and the towns are fortified and very large; and besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there.
Num. 13:29 The Amalekites live in the land of the Negeb; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea, and along the Jordan.”
Num. 13:30 ¶ But Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”
Num. 13:31 Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against this people, for they are stronger than we.”
Num. 13:32 So they brought to the Israelites an unfavorable report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land that we have gone through as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are of great size.
Num. 13:33 There we saw the Nephilim (the Anakites come from the Nephilim); and to ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”
The spies went to check out the promised land. What did they find? They were amazed at the land and all that it had to provide. It literally seemed as if the land flowed with milk and honey! But the majority of the spies had grave concerns. The people seemed so big! How in the world could the little people -- the Israelites -- go against such a people?
Think about it -- these people had been serving the Egyptians as slaves. More than likely they had suffered from poor nutrition during those years and would have been of small stature. Can you imagine what those "big" people of the land of Canaan looked like to them. The only reference they had was a story from history about the Nephilim. These were the people mentioned back in Genesis who were known to be of giant size. In reality they probably were not giants, but they seemed like it to the small Israelites.
But this story tells us much more about the mind-set of the Israelites than about what they really were seeing. They were not just physically seeing giants, but they were seeing giants in their own minds. Their fear got the best of them and they could not imagine going up against those people. They said, "We are not able to go up against this people, for they re stronger than we." This was, in fact, the truth. The people were much stronger than they were -- BUT -- that was never to be the point, was it? What they failed to recognize was that their God was greater than those people! He had fought for them in the past and he had promised to fight for them in the future.
This made me think about how often I see giants in front of me. Are the issues of life really giants -- or are they simply giants in our own minds? Are we seeing giants and believing that they can rule over us, all the while forgetting that God is the one willing to do battle for us! Just imagine what those human giants look like to God.
At the end of the day this really has to do with trust in God. If we believe that we can overcome all obstacles on a human level, we most certainly will fail. The children of Israel somehow forgot that it was God that was going to do the fighting for them and they gave up. God will fight for us -- if we simply put our trust in him. Maybe we ought to stop seeing giants -- and start seeing him.
Lord, thank you for helping us in the battles of life. May I not go looking for giants today but put my trust in you! Amen.