“And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” (Numbers 13:33, ESV)
Number 13 relates the story of twelve spies sent out by Moses to explore the Promised Land. Moses chose one man from each tribe, instructed them what to look for, and sent them on their way. For such an important mission, the twelve men he chose were among the brightest and the best. Numbers 13:2 calls them “rulers.” The Hebrew word used here often means “chief, choicest, best.”
Forty days later the men returned with what in many ways seemed a glowing report. “Yes, the land flows with milk and honey. Look at this fruit we brought back to show you! It took two of us to carry this cluster of grapes. These pomegranates and figs are the best. It’s amazing.”
“Nevertheless . . . .”
That one word in verse 28 changed the destiny of the entire congregation for the next forty years. The spies went on to describe the sturdiness of the city walls . . . the giants they saw . . . the brute strength of the men . . . the impossibility of it all.
“We look like grasshoppers compared to them!” they exclaimed. “They thought so too,” they added for emphasis.
Ten men shook their heads in total agreement. Only two, Joshua and Caleb, declared, “We can do it. Let’s go.”
Suddenly, the mood shifted in the crowd of listeners. The excitement for the men’s return changed to discouragement and discontent. Murmurs and cries grew in intensity.
How did things change so quickly?
While on their forty-day reconnaissance, the spies had developed a grasshopper mentality. By allowing fear to fill their minds, they not only underestimated what they could do, they also underestimated what God could do. They put limits on His power.
The people could not see their potential. They had small thinking—grasshopper-sized thinking. In other words, they did not believe God was able to fulfill His promises. They didn’t say that in actual words, but that’s what their actions said. God can’t/won’t do it. Their attitude angered the Lord.
And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?” (Numbers 14:11, NLT)
Are we guilty of the same thing? Has God asked you to do something, but you looked at the situation with small, grasshopper thinking? Do you fill your mind with impossibilities rather than His possibilities? God never sends us on impossible missions. He empowers us and equips us so He can send us.
God told Jeremiah:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you . . . But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD . . . Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:5-9, ESV)
God knew you before you were even born. When He sends you forth, He equips you to complete the work He has for you.
Never feel like a grasshopper in a giant’s world. Do not lose sight of who God created you to be. Your potential is great in God. You can slay the giants and take the land.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, ESV)
Dear Lord, help me to recognize the abilities and strengths You have placed in my life. I never want to question Your promises. If You say it is possible, I will not doubt You. Help me to realize my possibilities through the power of Your Spirit working in me and through me.