Numbers 13:1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a chief among them.” 3 So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran, according to the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the people of Israel. ESV
Along the route from Egypt to Canaan, the people requested for Moses to send out twelve spies to investigate the new land. Moses conceded to their request and sent out twelve spies; one for each of the twelve tribes.
The spies were gone for forty days and during that time they saw many wonderful things. The Bible says –
“When they came to the valley of Eshcol, they cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes so large that it took two of them to carry it on a pole between them!” (Num 13:23 NLT)
When the spies returned to the camp, they reported to Moses and the people – “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey… But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!” (Numbers 13:27-28 NLT)
No one could deny that the land had many great opportunities. A cluster of grapes so large it would take two men to carry it seems unbelievable; yet this was what God was about to give them. But standing in the way of their claiming this land of opportunity was a major obstacle. The land also contained giants.
For every opportunity, there will be an obstacle. For every promise, there will be a problem. For every time we are called to claim something by faith, there will be the temptation for us to fear.
It is in these times that you and I must decide which is the greatest: “God or the giants?” As I have prepared this devotional, I have thought about the giants in my own life. Some are real and tangible and I can touch them. Others are only imaginary and hiding out there somewhere in the future. Yet, whether real or imaginary, each giant has the ability to make me feel afraid.
During a time when David was facing his giants, he wrote these important words: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3 ESV)
David did not pretend that his giants were not real, nor that he had the ability to defeat them on his own. He acknowledged his giants and his temptation to be afraid of them. But he also acknowledged God’s promise to always be with him and to help him. Commenting on this verse, Charles Spurgeon wrote- “Whether the fear arise from without or within, from past, present, or future, from temporals, or spirituals, from men or devils, let us maintain faith, and we shall soon recover courage.”