“We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” Numbers 13:33
In Numbers 13, Israel is on the edge of taking their long awaited Promised Land. Before they all journeyed in, Moses sent 12 leaders to survey the land. Forty days later they returned with a stunning report of a land “flowing with milk and honey”. They also brought back an unbelievable display of fruit that only reinforced what a rich and bountiful land they were heading into.
Then some of the men began to report on the people they would be up against. The excitement in the crowd quickly disappeared. They described them as strong and powerful giants. If the people weren’t afraid enough, the men made the situation worse by comparing themselves to grasshoppers in the eyes of these towering giants.
The people quickly began to panic, even going so far as to wishing they had remained slaves in Egypt. Through the chaos, a voice of courage spoke up. Caleb stood among the leaders and the crowd went quiet. “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the leaders pushed back, convincing Israel that taking the land was an impossible feat.
Again, Caleb stood up and this time Joshua with by his side. They reminded the people that God was with them. He was more than able to bring Israel into the Promised Land. Despite what should have been a compelling reminder, the people wanted to kill Caleb and Joshua rather than believe them.
We all have obstacles that seem insurmountable. Paying off debt, conquering an addiction, overcoming fears, repairing family ties, going after your lifelong dream, the list could go on. It is easy to respond to these like they’re unconquerable giants. We see them towering over us and we are gripped with fear. Just thinking of our obstacles can be discouraging. We can relate to the Israelites who felt like grasshoppers in the shadows of the giants. Any confidence we had shrinks away. We feel small, incapable, and defeated before we even face the battle. Running away seems like the easiest thing to do.
Yet running didn’t save Israel, it actually sent them back to wandering in the desert for forty years. If there is anything that we learn from Israel, it is our need to see ourselves like Caleb and Joshua did. They recognized that the giants would be tough to defeat, the did not deny that. But they didn’t see themselves as grasshoppers. Caleb and Joshua chose to see themselves as conquerors. That is exactly who God said they were and that is exactly who God says you and I are.
God was ready to give the Promised Land into Israel’s hands. Caleb and Joshua remembered God’s promise and love. They knew and spoke without a doubt that God was for them and would give them the victory. Caleb and Joshua lead like conquerors. In Romans 8, the follower of Christ is reminded that God is for us. Therefore we are more than conquerors through Him. We may have giants in our life, but our God has made us more than capable of overcoming any obstacle. We are not grasshoppers, we are conquerors through Christ.