Numbers 13 is the story of the Israelites at their first arrival at the promised land. It had been just three years since they were freed from slavery in Egypt, lead by Moses and Aaron. “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel.” So Moses picked out twelve men, one from each tribe, to spy out the land of Canaan.
They returned after forty days with an alarming report. The land was indeed flowing with milk and honey, but ten of the spies reported, “’We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘the land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.’”
Joshua and Caleb, two of the spies, urged the people to trust God and follow His command. But in the end, the people stood with the other ten spies. For fear of the giants, God’s people refused to follow God and enter into the promised land.
God punished the disobedience of the people, declaring that they would not enter the promised land. They were doomed to stay out in the desert for forty years, until all that rebellious generation had died in the wilderness. After forty years God allowed Joshua to lead the people of Israel across the Jordan into the promised land.
There is another famous Bible story about a giant. 1 Samuel 17 is the story of David and Goliath. Goliath, a Philistine, stood over 9 feet tall. David was just a youth, the youngest son of Jesse. As he confronted the giant with his sling and five stones, David said, “Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” David killed Goliath with the first stone from his sling. That stone was like a guided missile from God’s own hand.
We face a mighty, unseen giant today in the COVID-19 pandemic. It covers every nation and it seems invincible to all our efforts to control it or stop it. We can freeze in fear and refuse to go forward like the Israelite spies in Canaan. Or, we can rely on David’s sure and proven words: “The Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s.” Take courage in David’s statement of faith. Trust the battle to God and his mighty power. Go forward in faith. Serve your family, serve your neighbors, love and serve the Lord. He will give the victory into your hands.
Giants? God is bigger than any of your giants.
Heavenly Father, give us the faith of David as he stood in the shadow of the towering giant. Let your words echo in our hearts and minds every day, “For the battle is the Lord’s and he will give the victory into our hands.”