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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


Numbers 13:30-33 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

After being lead out of Egypt by Moses, the Israelites were journeying toward the Promised Land of Canaan. They had progressed to the southern border of the land. We pick up this particular story in Numbers 13. Here, at the instruction of God, Moses selected one man from each of the twelve tribes of Israel to go spy out the land of Canaan. The spies were to go into the land to observe its terrain; observe the people, are they strong or weak, few or many; observe whether the land is good or bad; observe the cities to see if they are open or walled and fortified; observe if the land can support crops necessary to sustain them; observe if there are enough trees to use for building purposes. They were to also bring back some of the fruits of the land. They spent forty days searching out the land around Hebron and in the area of the brook Eshcol, observing the people that inhabited the land and all other observations they were charged to do. They gathered grapes, pomegranates, and figs and brought them back with them. Verse 27 indicates that they told how the land indeed flowed with milk and honey and was a good land. They also reported that the land was inhabited with the children of Anak, a very strong people, seen as giants.

Caleb as well as Joshua, as we learn later in Numbers 14:6-9, were two of the spies. Their advice was to go up at once, and possess it; for we are able to overcome it. However, the other ten spies advised against such action, saying they are stronger that we. ...All the people that we saw in it are men of great stature, ...the sons of Anak, ...giants. In the sight of the Canaanites as well as in their own eyes, they considered themselves to be as grasshoppers. In chapter 14, verses 6-9, we find Joshua and Caleb encouraging them to go up and possess the land. It is the land that God has given us. Don't fear the people. They would be defenseless because the Lord is with us. We learn later, that Israel, the grasshoppers, eventually conquered the giants, and took the land of Canaan, as their possession, which God had promised them.

Many lessons can be found in this story. One that impresses me is that great things can be accomplished when we have God on our side. If we are doing the will of God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, we can achieve great things in our lifetime. Regardless of the obstacles that we may meet on our journey through life, we can reach our Promised Land because we have God on our side. He will lead us, counsel us, comfort us, and protect us from all opposition that we may encounter on our journey through life. If faithful, God's promise of a home in Heaven is sure.

What we need is confidence and assurance in God's plan of salvation. The apostle John wrote of this assurance, Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life,...(John 5:24). In I John 5:13, we find, These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life... .It is this confidence, assurance, and faith that we must have -that which the Israelites did not have. Therefore, we must refuse to see ourselves as grasshoppers in our own eyes, as well as in the eyes of people of the world.

In order to gain eternal salvation, we have a great obstacle to overcome - the world. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4-5).

Christians may be small, they may be few in number, they may lack material wealth, but be assured that all things are possible with God. The Promised Land awaits God's faithful children. We Can Win!