“And there we saw the giants, which were come of the giants. And, we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and we were in their sight as grasshoppers.”
This is how the Exodus-ers felt about themselves when they came to a place in Canaan called Kadesh-Barnea. Since they had left bondage in Egypt, they had been making good bee-line progress toward a new land to live in according the promise and leadership of God.
At K-B, prospects looked promising. After all, God had told them to go ahead and take the land for occupation. It was theirs for taking, God had indicated. Who can argue with God when He tells you to do something about which He wills for you to do? “Be of good courage,” God had told them.
So, they sent in 12 of their own to reconnoiter the land, the cities, and the people who lived there. All were agreed to tell the people that it was a land “flowing with milk and honey,” and they brought back lavish samples to show the people.
But, there came an obvious division among the 12 when it came to reporting about being able to oust the inhabitants of the land. “We cannot take the land,” said 10 to group, “because the people who live there are huge. They are giants. We are nothing but grasshoppers compared to their size. And, because of our small size, they see us as nothing more than grasshoppers, too.”
Because of that majority report 10 of 12, the elder generation of the group felt the applied pressure, and chirped like grasshoppers, “Nope, nope, nope. We ain’t gonna get stomped by no giants. Forget it.” Their decision cost them so much — forty years worth of wandering in a harsh wilderness, not to mention that that generation died in that wilderness without ever getting to experience the blessed goodness of the land God had instructed them to take. It was a grave mistake, to say the least.
Has it ever occurred to you that all of the giants told about in the Bible were defeated by the people of God?
The reason this Bible story is so compelling is because of the image it projects of how easily God’s people will stand defeated. In this scenario, Israel stood defeated because they manifested an obstacle complex. They saw the giants as their obstacle. They manifested a definitive grasshopper complex when they characterized themselves as such. They most certainly revealed a spiritual complex when they perceived their obstacles and self-perspectives bigger than God.
But, it also a compelling story because of what it teaches in the end, which is, that with the force and will of God at work in our lives there is always a way through, over, around, or under whatever giant with which we are confronted.
It also teaches in the end that we should be always mindful to look at our problems through the eyes of God rather than to look at God through the eyes of our problems.
God’s people will continue to be faced with obstacles in life. That is just the way that it is. But, the Word tells us that we have such great advantage. For example, “if God be for us who can be against us?” What about “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”? There is also “For whosoever is born of God overcometh the world, and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
Probably the most inspirational words come from the Lord, who said, “In the world you shall have tribulation. But, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Because of that fact, it is absolutely true that any one who follows the Lord’s example of faith and trust in God will always have the upper hand with any concern. Any one who practices the principles of the Jesus Christ or fulfills the expectations of Jesus Christ will overcome any obstacle.
What is your concern for today? Says the Scripture, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.”
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.