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March 15, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | March 15

Giants and Grasshoppers


God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear,
even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.  Psalm 46:1-3, NKJV


Have you ever heard of Gaddiel, Igal, or Ammiel? Though they sound like characters from The Lord of the Rings, they were actual men mentioned in Numbers 13. How about Caleb and Joshua? Those two we know. Let’s explore why.


About three years into the Exodus God told Moses to send spies into Canaan to check out the land, the enemy’s fortifications, and the strength of their armies. One leader was chosen from each of the 12 tribes, along with Joshua. Forty days later the men returned. Ten spies said:


“The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.  We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:32-33)


Okay, so maybe their trip into the Promised Land was a little like The Lord of the Rings. The Anak were supposedly giants descended from the Nephilim (half fallen angel, half men mentioned in Genesis 6:4). (Those of us with ADD tendencies now want to go take a deep dive into these giants.)


The ten spies were freaked out and in no way interested in going back to fight these people—giants or otherwise. Then Caleb steps up, and says confidently, ““We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (v. 30). 


Caleb (and Joshua) believed in the Lord’s power to do what He said He would do: give the Israelites a land flowing with milk and honey. Their faith helped them rise above their circumstances—above the heads of giants. In contrast,  the other ten spies were overwhelmed by their circumstances and viewed the situation through faithless, fear-filled eyes. Truth is, we all have a mix of both Caleb and Gaddiel in us. When the world gets difficult and the “Nephilim” descend—fears over a job layoff, despair over a prodigal child, anxiety about growing debt—it’s pretty easy to despair. It’s natural. Right?


The only difference between the Calebs and the Gaddiels of this world is supernatural faith that overcomes natural fear. Not “if I close my eyes the giants will go away” faith, but rugged and real “I’m scared because those giants are big but my God is bigger” faith. 


Father, I surrender my fears and ask you to help me overcome my giants.

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