We see that first God told them this land was theirs.
They had defeated enemies on the way. Moses sent out spies from the
12 tribes to scout out the land. What they found was a fertile land,
with grapes so big, it took two men to carry one cluster of them. And...they
saw giants in the land.
Their Fear, Doubt, Belief in a Lie, and Ultimate Disobedience
When they got back to the camp, the spies told their stories of this wonderful land. The men also told about the giants. That put fear in many hearts. Joshua and Caleb believed they could possess the land in obedience to God. But fear spread throughout the camp aided by a few who didn’t want to put their trust in God
It only took a few men to spread lies throughout the camp that there wasn’t enough food to even feed those there...and the people believed the lies even though they saw with their own eyes proof of the land’s abundance and fertility.
They believed the lies and didn’t want to trust God even though he had delivered them miraculously out of Egypt...they had seen the parting of the Red Sea and walked through it, found their way through the desert with the pillar of fire at night and the cloud by day, saw and ate the manna God sent to feed them...so much, yet not enough to bring total trust in God and his promises. God could have crushed them in the sea or let them starve in the desert, but he saved them. He saved them from the mightiest man, Pharaoh, who had power to also crush them like wheat, yet now they were afraid of a few giants.
So what happened: They chose to not trust God and
did not take possession of the land of promise.
Doubt, fear, and unbelief are contagious and deadly.
They chose to believe the lies of men who had not even seen the land instead
of the God who displayed his power every day since the beginning of their
release from captivity. So God punished them. They would wander
in the wilderness until everyone of them were dead, except the two who
believed-Joshua and Caleb. Their children would be the ones to inherit
the Promised Land. This ended up being 40 long years in the desert
just because they didn’t believe God. They weren’t happy with this
pronouncement. And instead of going to God and saying, “We’re sorry
we didn’t trust you and disobeyed, forgive us for our sin and tell us what
you want us to do!”, they decided on their own to go ahead and take the
land like they were supposed to do. But they were warned that God
would not be with them. You’d think they’d have learned a lesson
by now...but nooooo. They tried...they lost. They still hadn’t
God Is Taken At His Word: His Promises Are Fulfilled
It was now time to go take possession of the land.
God gave the order. Caleb was now 85 years old, but he remembered
the land of Hebron promised to him and his children. His trust in
God was not diminished by the 40 years in the desert. Age had not
robbed him of his hope. He was not relying solely on his physical
strength or mental cunningness. He was ready to claim the land God
gave him as much as he was ready when he first laid eyes on the land.
He said, “Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that
day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites (giants) were there
and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I
will drive them out just as he said.” And Joshua gave Hebron to Caleb
and Caleb drove the three giants from the land and took possession of it.
What “giants” are keeping you from the promised land?
What is holding you back? Maybe your parents didn't protect you. Perhaps they didn't know or trust God. You may have spent your life in the wilderness because of sin committed against you, such as sexual, physical, emotional or spiritual abuse, not just because of your own sin or lack of trust and belief in God, just as Israel's offspring did. God has still been there, but you haven’t yet reached the promised land. It is there, but something keeps you from taking possession.
Now the real giants that kept Israel from possessing the land weren’t the sons of Anak. It was their fear, unbelief, and lack of trust in God. It was the lies they bought into instead of believing God’s truth. What lies have you bought into?
Caleb at 85 knew God’s provision. He had faith all along and had waited and longed for this chance to claim the promises of God. But he had to wait for God’s timing. He suffered the consequences of Israel’s unbelief and disobedience along with those that deserved it...sound familiar. Sin usually isn’t isolated. It reaches out and touches and destroys families, friends, churches, nations.
We can, like Caleb, go in and drive out the giants with God.
TO DO: Find the chart; “Facing the Giants” and list on one side what God’s promises are for you and on the other side list the giants that have been keeping you from those promises.
This is also about choices. What choices did the Israelites have? Which ones did they make? What were the consequences? What choices did they make and what were the consequences or benefits reaped in the later part of the story?
TO DO: Find the chart, "Israel's Choices" and enter as many things you can find under each catagory.
What choices have you made that have brought consequences into your life? What choices are you facing now? What could be the possible consequences or benefits of your choices?
Are you still blaming your current choices on your past?
Israel could have blamed their choices on the fact that
they only knew slavery in their lifetime. Just as we could have been
afraid finally being on our own as adults away from controling, abusive
parents, Israel was afraid. But they had to take responsibility for
each choice they made, and they had to reap the consequences for wrong
choices and reaped the blessings of right choices.
Facing Your Giants
by Annie Nelson