Scripture: Numbers 13:21-33
Key verses: (32-33) So they brought to the Israelites an unfavorable report of the land that they had spied out, saying “The land that we have gone through as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are of great size. There we saw the Nephilim (the Anakites come from the Nephilim); and to ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them”
Reflection: Moses sent spies into the land of Canaan to assess the land and its inhabitants. I have mixed feelings that the land God promised to them was already inhabited. I’m disturbed by the thought of a god who chooses to take land away from those who live there and give it as a promised gift to another nation. That god doesn’t fit with my understanding of the God I know revealed in Jesus Christ.
In today’s passage we read about the return of the spies and their report about the land and its inhabitants. The land was fertile. Lush crops were growing. A friend of mine has this carving that represents Numbers 13:23.
The majority of the spies believed that the inhabitants of the land were too big and frightening to be conquered easily. In the key verses, they claimed that the inhabitants are the Nephilim (strange giant beings from Genesis chapter six) and in comparison the spies were grasshoppers.
Do you have days when you feel like a grasshopper? Small, vulnerable, easily defeated? I have those days. On those days, I struggle to remember that I am created in the image of God, I belong to God, and God has called me to follow Christ. On grasshopper-days, let’s remind one another of God’s presence with us that strengthens us to do whatever we are called to do. God does not destroy us and God does not abandon us.
Prayer: Sometimes I have bad days, O Lord. Days when I feel like a failure, days when I wonder whether I’m making a difference, days when I question my own worth. Remind me of your presence and your strength. I belong to you. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].