Joshua 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses… 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. ESV
As Joshua considered God’s promise to be with him, he probably thought back to an event that occurred forty years earlier. Joshua had been one of the twelve spies who went in to investigate the land. Upon their return, some of the spies said –
“It is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there…” (Num 13:27-28 NLT)
Once the people heard about the giants, their hearts were filled with fear. The Bible says –
Numbers 14:1 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” ESV
The reaction of the people caused God to become angry.
Numbers 14:27 “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. 28 Say to them, ‘As I live, declares the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: 29 your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, 30 not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.
As many of you know, the children of Israel wandered for forty years in the wilderness. Scripture says that God destined them to wander one year for every day the spies had failed to trust in God. (see Num 14:34)
Throughout life you and I will face many different kinds of giants. Some will be real and tangible, and others will imaginary and hiding out there somewhere in the future. Whether real or imaginary, every giant has the potential to cause us to be afraid.
Perhaps you are facing a giant at this very moment. If so, take to heart the words of David – “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3 ESV)