But What About The Giants?
Helen Dowd

Numbers 13 & 14. It had been nearly two years since Moses led Israel out of Egypt. They had been camped by Mount Sinai for nearly a year. God had been getting them ready for the new land, which had been promised them. When they had come out of Egypt, it was like being born into a new world. They had many things to learn about being a nation. But now they had been under God's instruction, and they had learned many things about God's law. They had been taught how they were to worship the true God. They had been given the Ten Commandments, and the tabernacle had been built. They had seen many wonderful miracles that God had performed. Now it was time for them to go in and possess the land that God had for them. They were right next to the border. God wanted them to march right in and take the land away from the wicked nation living there. But the people were afraid. They started to make all kinds of excuses why they were not ready. So, God in His mercy came up with a solution.

Numbers 13. He instructed Moses to pick out twelve good men, one from every tribe, to send as spies to scout out the land. Two of these men were Joshua and Caleb. For the names of the others, please read Numbers 13:4-16. To these men Moses said, "Go south, up into the mountain, and see the land, what it looks like. See what kind of people live there, whether they are weak or strong, few or many. See whether the land is good or bad. See what cities there are, and how the people live. Find out where their strongholds are. Inspect the trees to see if there is enough wood."

His last instructions to the men before they left were, "Be strong and courageous. Make sure you bring back some of the fruit of the land as proof." So the men went into the land. They searched it out from top to bottom. They went to a brook called Eshcol, and cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes. It was so big that they had to put it on a stick, and two of them had to carry it. Then they got pomegranates, and figs. For forty days they walked about the land, gathering their proof. Then it was time for them to go back and make a report to Moses.

All of the men reported this: "We came into that land that you sent us, and it truly is a land flowing with milk and honey. And look at the fruit we brought back."

And then that is when we notice a division of opinion amongst the spies. The division, however, was not an equal split. Ten of the twelve spies put in one great big BUT: "BUT the people are strong that dwell in that land, AND the cities are walled, and very big. MOREOVER we saw GIANTS living there, the children of Anek. AND THEN, there are the Amalekites living in the south; the Hittites and Jebusites and Amorites live in the mountains; and the Canaanites live by the sea, and on the coast of Jordan. WE CAN'T TAKE THAT LAND. THERE ARE GIANTS! Their voices had risen to panic level."

Now the other two men stood up, Joshua and Caleb. There had been such a hubbub caused by the ten spies' report that Caleb had to holler to make himself heard. He shouted, "NO, You've heard it all wrong. Let's go up immediately. Yes, there are GIANTS. But what are GIANTS? After all, is not the LORD GOD on our side? He is bigger than any GIANTS. With God on our side we are well able to go up and POSSESS THE LAND."

"NO! NO!" Cried the ten spies again. "We are not able to go up against this people. They are STRONGER than we are." This argument had gone on all the way from Canaan back to the camp or Israel, Joshua and Caleb standing against the ten. They trusted in GOD. The other ten feared the GIANTS.

The Israelites listened to the ten men. They turned on Moses and Aaron, crying, "WHY? Oh why did you take us out of our comfortable homes in Egypt where the leeks and garlic was plentiful, only to bring us to this place where there are GIANTS? Oh, what are we going to do?" And then they got their heads together and came up with a plan. "We are going to pick a captain, and we are going to march right back to Egypt. We have had it up to here, with you and your leadership," they said to Moses.

At this, Joshua and Caleb ripped their clothes. They stood up and shouted, "HOLD ON! The land we went to spy out is a good land, a very good land. Don't you know that we are chosen of God? He delights in us. He will bring us into this land. He will give it to us. It is a land, which flows with milk and honey...But you've got to stop rebelling against the Lord. You've got to stop fearing the GIANTS. They are just bread for us. They have no defence against the Lord. IF GOD IS FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?"

The people of Israel all thronged around. They were about to stone Joshua and Caleb. Suddenly the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. GOD WAS ANGRY. He wanted to destroy this stubborn nation, which He had recently rescued from slavery. Had not been for Moses intervening for the people, God would have destroyed them right there and then.

BUT WAIT! Before we go judging the Children of Israel, let's stop and consider: "What GIANTS are roaming around in our lives? DISOBEDIENCE? Is there something God is asking us to us to do? Something we don't want to do? Something He wants us to give up? But we can't. Is this the GIANT we are afraid of? Or what about FEAR itself? Is FEAR the GIANT in our lives? The GIANT we don't think God can conquer? NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR GOD. We must just trust Him.

Helen Dowd

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