Numbers 13 and 14 – This is the story of Israel in the wilderness. The story of the spying out of the land of Canaan by the 12 spies. It is the negative report of the 10 spies and the good report of the 2 spies.
The spies went and they returned after 40 days with 1 cluster of grapes. It took two people to carry this cluster of grapes out on a pole. The spies also had a report for Moses and Aaron.
The report was that the fruit and the land were wonderful, but that there were some problems. It sounded somewhat demoralizing, but Caleb silenced the people and said, “lets go do it, we are well able to take the land.”
The other spies replied that “this is a land that devours its inhabitants. All the people there are of great stature.” There are giants there. We were small before them, like grasshoppers.
“Giant Eating Grasshoppers” does this mean that giants are eating grasshoppers? Or does it mean that grasshoppers are eating giants? The 10 spies thought that the giants would eat the grasshoppers while there were two spies that thought that they children of Israel, the grasshoppers, could eat the giants.
In this account the Lord commanded that they spy out the land. The Lord had also promised to give them the land, it was a sure thing that he intended to do.
How would you like a gift like this, something that God would give you. We do have some gifts and some opportunities that God has promised us.
There is a little bit of a challenge in this. We have to have some discernment about whether something is a gift or opportunity from God or perhaps it is something that comes along that we should not engage in. How do you know? How do you decide that the situation you face is the opportunity that God had in mind for you.
We hardly ever receive an opportunity that doesn’t come with responsibility. These go together, when we receive a special gift it comes at a cost and a responsibility that goes with it.
Our outlook is the way that we look at and think about the opportunities that we have in front of us. Perhaps we pray about an opportunity, whether we look at opportunities with eyes of faith, or perhaps that God can do something through us that we cannot do on our own. This is the our frame of mind, the way that we think about things and what we believe.
Israel, the 10 spies, thought that things looked hopeless. They couldn’t do it.
We don’t like change. Often we don’t really want to take advantage of an opportunity that causes a great change.
Anything in our life that there is a call for something different, this is an opportunity.
The 10 spies had an outlook that was too small. The enemy was too large.
If you believe you can’t do something. You can’t do it. If you believe you are worthless, you are worthless. If you believe you are ugly, you are ugly. If you think that is true, that is how you will interpret everything. If you believe that God is against you. That outlook will determine what you can and can’t do. It doesn’t matter what the facts are, what we believe are the facts is what is true to us.
We think things about ourselves and we think that that is what God thinks about us and others think about us and then we get stuck.
The opposite of this is true as well. If you believe God is present and working in your heart and that He is leading you, you can do whatever he asks you to do. But it is often easy to get stuck in this other frame of mind.
There will always be opposition. There will always be those who say it is not time, this should not be done now, or shouldn’t be done at all. Even when something is commanded in scripture there are those who will say that it is not God’s will.
If the opposition doesn’t come from other people it will come from Satan. We can be the source of our doubts as well, we can get scared and afraid. Sometimes the opposition that we face is more about us than anything else, if we look in the mirror we might just see ourselves looking back.
Our opposition could be a besetting sin. For the 10 spies they couldn’t believe that God could help them get into the land.
The opposition might be rebellion against authority.
God is big and omnipotent, he is powerful, not weak and not small. The children of Israel’s biggest problem was that they saw the giants, their giant fears, but they did not see their giant God.
God can equip grasshoppers to eat giants, but it is a God thing when God equips grasshoppers to eat giants. It is not a human thing. It is a faith thing.
It isn’t that we should think ourselves into ignorance. Not everything that we think about doing is God’s will. If God is for the grasshopper, the grasshopper can eat the giant. This is like the story of David and Goliath.
How many of us have something in our lives that we would like to change but it hasn’t changed yet? That is a giant. There is evil around us, there is sin in us.