Numbers 13:30-33


"Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it."   But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are. . . The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. . . We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."


These verses from Numbers 13 describe a pivotal moment in the history of Israel.  The people had arrived at the border of the Promised Land.  Moses had sent men in to spy out the land.  Even though all the men who had been sent into the land saw essentially the same things, they returned with very different stories.  Oh, everybody agreed that the land was bountiful and that it would be a wonderful place to live.  But they disagreed sharply over whether they should (or could) take advantage of it.


So how is it that people can look at the same things and yet see them so differently?  I think the answer is both clear and important.  First, the men who had gone with Caleb admitted, "We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes . . .” They were evaluating their strength and resources from a purely fleshly perspective.  And then they projected that evaluation onto the inhabitants of the land.  You know, it could be that the Hebrew’s military strength wasn't as intimidating as that of the Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites and Canaanites.  But that really isn't the point, is it?  The point is that God Almighty had promised this land to THEM.  He had freed them from bondage, provided for them, protected them, and led them to this very place.  And still they could only think about their size and strength.  Caleb, on the other hand, said: "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it."  So what made him so certain?  Didn't he see the warriors who lived there?  Didn’t he understand how difficult it would be to take possession of the land?


The truth of it is that Caleb did see the enemy, but that didn't keep him from trusting the power and faithfulness of His God.  Caleb could still remember the day that Moses had stood before the people and declared: "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. . . The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." -- Ex. 14:13-14; and Caleb believed that God was faithful - a keeper of promises and the Savior of His people.  So he wasn't concerned about the strength of the enemy because He knew the power of God.


You and I are often tempted to believe the reports of people who have no faith in God or who don't know His promises.  But I want to encourage you today to give God's Word priority in your decision making, to take hold of His promises, and receive whatever He has placed within your grasp.  And even if there is opposition, know that the Lord will fight for you.  It doesn't matter how things look.  It doesn't matter what others think.  All that matters is what God says!


--- Pastor Keith Andrews