Numbers 13:1-3 New International Version
1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”
3 So at the Lord’s command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.
Numbers 13:26-31 New International Version
Report on the Exploration
26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”
30 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.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”
Numbers 13:31-33 New International Version
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 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 14:1-4 New International Version
The People Rebel
14 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
As we begin, let’s do an introspective exercise concerning our faith. Think about the following questions;
- Do you consider yourself a person of strong faith?
- When your faith was last tested?
- What was the result?
- Has your faith ever wavered?
- Has your faith ever faltered?
- Do you believe that trials come our way to test and strengthen our faith?
In the above scripture, we read about the Hebrew people’s faith, or lack thereof, which should be very surprising to you.
Because they had recently witnessed the awesome power of God, in sending the ten plagues upon Egypt and accomplishing their release from Egyptian bondage.
They had seen the power of God part the Red Sea so they could cross on dry land, while the Egyptian chariots were covered by the water as they tried to cross.
If anyone should trust in the power of God with unwavering faith, it was these Hebrew folks.
However, we see something totally different.
The twelve spies that Moses sent to scout out the land of Canaan came back with an overwhelmingly negative report.
Ten of the spies said that the land could not be taken.
Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, said the land was theirs for the taking.
The ten spies did affirm that the land flows with milk and honey. Obviously, this is not to be taken literally, but was a descriptive term meaning the land had everything they needed.
However, they said the people who inhabit the land are strong and powerful with large fortified cities.
Finally, they said that “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
The Hebrew people’s faith not only wavered, it totally failed them.
They were not remembering the miracles and power of God they had recently witnessed, or if so, they were ignoring them. They were not trusting in God.
They were allowing Satan to use their emotions and fears to control their thoughts. We must always remember and be on guard, as Satan will try his best to crush the faith of God's children.
These Hebrews grumbled and complained to Moses, Aaron and God. They cried out that it would have been better to have died in Egypt or the wilderness than to die by the sword in Canaan. They even wanted to choose a new leader and return to Egypt.
God's word is not just history. He inspired all scripture to speak to each of us and there is a valuable lesson that God gives us in this narrative.
If the faith of these people could waver and completely fail, it can happen to anyone.
As we go through life, we all encounter trials that will test our faith. You may be going through a trial at the present time and feeling discouraged. If you are, never let your trust in God waver. He promised to never leave us nor forsake us and He ALWAYS keeps His promises.
One promise that God never made was that we would go through this earthly life with no problems, valleys and trials. He did say however, that He would be with us all the way through them.
Are you feeling like the “grasshoppers” in comparison to what you are facing?
Keep your line of communication with God open and active. Satan will try to close it and cause further discouragement, but don’t allow him to do so. Satan will try to create negativity and doubt in our minds. Satan will cause our eyes to see something other than God.
There is hope, even when we feel as grasshoppers in our own eyes…