Numbers chapter 13, tells a story of fear and insecurity. Almighty God had just delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian oppression, and was about give them their “Promised Land”. Where they were about to go, was a place of provision and pleasure. Not only would all their needs be met, but all their dreams would be realized. There was just one problem: this land was already occupied.
Moses, sent a dozen men into this place, in order to see if it was everything God had promised them it would be. When they reported back, they confirmed every hope. They told of milk and honey and bunches of grapes so large that 2 men had to carry them. But of course they had to drop another shoe. These men also reported of the current residences. Most of the spies felt as though the occupants were so powerful that there was no way they could be defeated by Israel. When they saw these great and powerful men, they said, “we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33b, New American Standard Bible).
Subsequently, they wandered aimlessly for 40 years because of fear and insecurity. Even though God promised them this wonderful place, He still expected them to stand up and fight in order to posses it. But this “grasshopper mentality” kept them from boldly stepping into what God had set up for them. Being able to see this from our perspective, what can we learn from Israel’s mistake?
Because these were spies, it would stand to reason that they weren’t in the promised land, interviewing inhabitants about their Semitic views. There was no exit poll taken about the Canaanites’ thoughts on newly freed Israel. So how could these spies know what “they” thought? Verse 33 shows us that, these men saw themselves as grasshoppers, in comparison to the men they were to conquer. So since they saw themselves that way, they assumed the world saw them the same way as well.
You can not know what someone else thinks of you, unless they tell you. Don’t ever project your views on to anyone else, especially as it pertains to you. Let people form their own opinions and you just pursue that which is yours. In the end, whatever God intends for you to have, you will obtain. Besides, what if the Canaanites did see Israel as grasshoppers? Sure, 12 grasshoppers pose no threat, but 2 million grasshoppers swarming can be quite intimidating. I assume they forgot how grasshoppers shut down Egypt (in Exodus chapter 10).
I understand the awareness of challenges, and the mindfulness of limitations, but don’t allow your view of yourself stop you. Place your limitations in the hands of God. Let Him use you to do the impossible and to accomplish the improbable. If He can use a small stream carve out a Grand Canyon, certainly He can use a grasshopper to bring down a giant.
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*Graphic includes the sketch “Grasshopper”,©2012, by Scott Woyak