Sunday, September 24, 2006

Are You A Grasshopper?

So, this morning in Sunday school my mind wandered off from the lesson with one simple word. That's all it takes in my little world word...and I'm off on a rabbit trail in my mind somewhere, thinking of the "why" and "how" of the Scriptures in front of me.

See, we were talking about the scene in the Bible of the spies who went out to check out the land of Canaan (as told in Numbers 13:33) and returned with a "new identity". For the first time, they realized they were grasshoppers. Grasshoppers! What a thought. Instead of the children of God, instead of the great Israelite nation who had the God of Creation behind them, they had suddenly become the "grasshopper tribe".

Numbers 13:33 tells us that "'There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.'" (italics my addition)

I had never really focused on the fact that the people were so intimidated that they not only thought the giants saw them as grasshoppers, but that they themselves identified their own stature in such a way. (Thank you Kevin for pointing this out!) Well, what a shame this was! What a terrible moment this truly was for the Israelites. The people had waited 40 days for a report from the spies, and 10 out of 12 came back with a new identity and such a heavy heart and weary spirit. They were defeated before they ever even took the land. 10 out of 12 negatively impacted their community, and unfortunately, in Numbers 14:2 we see that "...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!'" The grasshopper-itis had spread to the congregation. Imagine the sorrow in the heart of the other two spies who refused to see defeat before it occurred.

The other two...Caleb and Joshua...what about them? They were no grasshoppers! They were not swayed by what the natural circumstances around them portrayed! They were steadfast in their faith that the Lord would deliver them just as He had said. Their response to the people was clear - they tore their clothes and said, "...'The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it to us - a land which flows with milk and honey.'" (Numbers 14:7-8) Caleb and Joshua were later rewarded for their faith. They indeed did possess a land of abundance. They did cross the river to the Promised Land. And Joshua proved to be no grasshopper.

Have you ever struggled with grasshopper-itis? Are you in the midst of an attack right now? Take Joshua's advice: "'Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they shall be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.'"

Why fear man when God's got our back? Romans 8:31 spurs us on by saying, "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?"

Fear not dear grasshopper. God is with you. God is with me. God's got our back. And when God is for us, no one can prevail against us!

Much love in Christ,