Jan 9, 2014, 10:09 AM
His obedience made him become the father of many nations and he received uncountable blessings as a result. Did he take a risk or did he have an eye for opportunities when he saw one?
Chapters 13 and 14 of the book of Numbers in the Bible recount an event depicting the attitude of the Children of Israel which ran contrary to that of Abraham.God, speaking through Moses, had instructed him to “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.” (Numbers 13:1) He was to select one leader from each tribe, making a total of twelve in all. He wanted them to have a foretaste of this “land flowing with milk and honey.”
Moses’ instructions were clear; “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many.
What kind of land they do live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they un-walled or fortified? How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees on it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (Numbers 13:17-20)As you would observe, the instructions were clear. It was a reconnaissance mission to be undertaken by twelve responsible leaders.
They returned after a forty-day exploration-cum- reconnaissance mission with tangible proof of the lushness of the land. They brought back with them “a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes…. along with some pomegranates and figs.” (Numbers 13:23) The cluster of grapes was so heavy that two men had to carry it on their shoulders using a pole. They confirmed thus that “….. the land to which you sent us, …. does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.” (verse 27)
At this point however there was a definite split in the ranks of the twelve leaders. You wouldn’t believe they visited the same place. Indeed, the glass that was half full, others saw as half empty.
The views were conflicting. Ten out of the twelve leaders (spies) waved the red flag whilst the other two brandished the green. It became a tug of war with the ‘reds’ gaining the upper hand.
After showing proof that the land was lush, the account continued in these terms. “But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw the descendants of Anak there.
The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, the Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea along the Jordan.” (verse 28-29)
The ‘reds’ painted a dreadful and dismal picture that dampened and deflated the moral of the audience.As if that was not enough, they added: “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we. ….. The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.” (verse 32) “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (verse 33) Ever heard of low self- esteem? Well, what you think of your self that is the way others will see you.
Can you imagine the children of the most-high God, Jehovah – the All-knowing, All-powerful and Ever-present - comparing themselves to insignificant and helpless grasshoppers! What a testimony!
That was not the case with David when he beheld a giant named Goliath who had rendered the whole army of Israel motionless. He was outraged that the whole army of the nation of Israel could be immobilised in front of this Philistine whom he addressed thus: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he would defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26) To king Saul he declared: “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” (1 Samuel 17:32) It was in this frame of mind that David confronted Goliath.
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (! Samuel 17:45)
Anything you magnify becomes giant size and anything you diminish becomes miniscule. It looses its greatness. The more we give importance to our problems and the obstacles we face in life, the loftier they will become. It matters a great deal how we see our God.
If we think our problems are greater than Him, then we downsize Him. If however we know the God we serve then He would live up to our expectations. When we fix our eyes on the Lord our problems give way.
When we accord them unnecessary attention and importance, we become submerged under the weight of the heap and lose faith.David knew the One in whom he believed and honoured Him. And God was with Him