Giants, Grasshoppers and Reality
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Reality is 90% perception, or so they say. I don’t know who comes up with these statistics, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

When I was in sales, I led my district one year, but also went through a three-week drought with no sales at all. So what was my reality? Was I a good salesman who had a bad drought, or was I a bad salesman who just happened to get lucky?

Since the dynamics of a family are so different between first born, middle and youngest child, and, taking into account the gender difference, two siblings can grow up in the same family, but since their perceptions are different, it is like growing up in different families! Each child perceives and experiences the family differently to the extent that as far as perception goes, it’s not even the same family. You and I can watch the same football game, but if I am watching behind the goal, and you are sitting on the sideline near the center we are going to have a totally different experience and perception of the same game.

Satan well knows how perception affects our picture of reality. So he likes to play little mind games. A while back during a Bible study I mentioned that sometimes I am tempted to think that I care more about people than they care about me. My Bible student quickly responded, “Me too!” Then he paused, scratched his chin, and added, “I bet Satan tries to make everyone feel that way.” I agreed with my Bible student.

Let’s look at how Satan played mind games with the Israelites. Look at how they perceived themselves after spying out the Promised Land which had already been … well, promised to them!

All the people we saw were huge.  We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” Numbers 13:32-33 NLT.

Wait a minute? First of all, historians say the Canaanites may have been a few inches taller than the Israelites, but not so much taller as to be called giants. The grasshopper comparison was a drastic exaggeration. Furthermore, how did they know the Canaanites thought they were like grasshoppers? How would they know what they were thinking at all? They didn’t! They cast their perception on other people, and thought their perception was reality, when it was all in their minds! Satan was playing mind games with them!

Later, in Joshua 2:24 another group of Israeli spies visit Rahab in Jericho and there they found out what the reality was.

 “The Lord has given us the whole land,” they said, “for all the people in the land are terrified of us.” Joshua 2:24 NLT

So the grasshopper comparison was just a little mind game of Satan’s that the first spies bought into. It was not reality. Sure, God wants us to be humble, but that does not mean he wants us to think we are grasshoppers while everyone else is a giant. Those who walk humbly with God are a terror to those who stand in their own pride and arrogance. If you walk humbly with God you do not need to be intimidated by anyone, regardless of their title or letters behind their name.

Humble men, armed with the word of truth alone, withstood the attacks of men of learning, who, with surprise and anger, found their eloquent sophistry powerless against the simple, straightforward reasoning of men who were versed in the Scriptures rather than in the subtleties of the schools.  –Ellen White, Great Controversy, Page 455.

So it is today as in every age. The same can be said for you today, which was said of John the Baptist.

He could stand erect and fearless in the presence of earthly monarchs, because he had bowed low before the King of kings.  –Ellen White, Desire of Ages, page 103.

Wisdom and humility go beautifully together, while the common combination of arrogance and ignorance seems to be lacking in comeliness. While we do not want to be arrogant and ignorant, it is possible to be humble and confident. Our confidence should be in God and not in ourselves.

Are you facing a giant today? First humble yourself before God. Put your confidence in His love and power. Walk forward in humble faith and obedience, and your giants will turn into grasshoppers. The humble of the land can also be the confident of the land, and not cowards.

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Giants, Grasshoppers and Reality — 12 Comments

  1. Great contribution and indeed we are not grasshoppers but with humility we shall humble ourselves before the Lord and He will lift us up. Amen

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  2. Big truths in this post. Thank you. Confidence, fearlessness and courage, just like repentance and wisdom, are gifts of God. As Christians we need to ask for these qualities every day. I’m a witness to this. If we ask for them, we will receive. A few months ago, I walked up to one of our office executives and offered him one of E.G. White books. He refused and told me he is atheist. That opened up a window for me to discuss about creationism vs evolution with him. The whole time, I was confident and maintaining eye contact….while he didn’t. He actually had to cut our conversation short and leave. I was rendered speechless how confident I was though. It can’t be of me (I know myself) but of the impartation of Christ. Mind you now, this guy holds a position that pays twice as much as mine. Boy, I felt like a giant that day….until the Holy Spirit told me to cool it down and be humble and give thanks.

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  3. Very encouraging message. I greatly thank the almighty God for you. When the apostles of Jesus went before the council, their response and the manner in which they answered the questions, left the council to marvel. They saw them as unschooled and ordinary men but their association with Jesus made them great men. Amen. Those who bend low before God will stand high before all flesh.

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  4. William,
    I recently have in mind a quote about taking over Promised land.
    They don't come in because of not believing in promise.
    In Heb 4: 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
    “So I swore in My wrath,
    ‘They shall not enter My rest,’”[b]
    although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

    Last, part is interesting one: "works were finished from the foundation of the world".
    When God rested on the seventh-day, He rested from all His works: everything was done, even a New Jerusalem.
    He did it all well.
    We don't enter because of unbelief.
    What is our perception of "going in"? Are our generations dying "in front of Canaan"?
    Not entering. Is our perception of "waiting" for Jesus wrong? Must we "enter" by faith in His promised Kingdom?

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    • Good observation Goran. The Israelites did not enter because of their unbelief in God's promises that they could overcome the Giants. So today we need to believe that God can help, or as has already been pointed out in your comment, believe that God has defeated the giant sins in our life. Our belief will be seen in our obedience. Where it says there in Hebrews 3 that they entered not because of unbelief, many Bibles have a margin reference which reads, "disobedience." We are saved by faith alone in God's works, but Hebrews 3 and 4 as well as the book of James makes it clear that obedience is a fruit of belief and faith, and disobedience is the fruit of unbelief.

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    • Goran: Twelve leaders from each of the Tribes of Israel were sent by Moses (at God’s command) to explore Canaan (Numbers 13:1-2). When they returned, all but Caleb and Hoshea (aka Joshua) were afraid and failed to trust God. So these ten unfaithful "leaders" lied to the Israelites (Numbers 13:32-33) about the “giants” and dangers in Canaan and they were killed by God for these lies (Numbers 14:36-38). Most of the Israelites lost faith in God and believed the lies and God almost destroyed them too as a result (Numbers 14:12). Were it not for Moses’ pleading with God to spare them (Numbers 14:19), they too (like the 10 unfaithful tribal leaders who lied) would have been killed by God. So, God spared their lives and forgave them (Numbers 14:20) but declared that not one of those who was unfaithful would live to see the promised land (Numbers 14:22-23).

      I think the message here is that “The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion” (Numbers 14:18). However, those who repeatedly rebel against, lose faith in and reject Him (Numbers 14:22) will never enter the promised land.

      I too like your observation and think you summed it up nicely by your statement, “We don’t enter because of unbelief.”

      If faith (belief) saves us (Galations 3:6: Ephesians 2:8), then unfaithfulness (lack of belief) condemns us (Mark 16:16). This is what happened to the Israelites and this is what will determine our eternal destiny as well.

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      • Thanks for responses.
        In our Sabbath class we also touch that Q of running from lion just to be run onto bear. So if every generation fails to have belief than, if I understand and know Jesus, He will postpone His II. Coming because He does not want to kill us but to save all (if possible).
        Is this not a call for us to enter?

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  5. Thank you for your encouraging words of hope and faith in Christ! I needed them at this moment! Have a blessed day in Jesus!
    ~Lauren

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  6. Very encouraging. We will not fear anything if we sincerely and humbly serve the Lord. God bless you

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  7. William, I think the reality of your market (their needs, ability and willingness) may have as much or even more to do with your sales/lack of sales than your ability as a salesman. I think the reality of the war-prepared, well-defensed, walls-protected Canaanites had everything to do with the perception/mental reality of former beat down slaves who came through 40 years in arid wilderness, mostly sustained by miracle food and miracle water, rather than from their great farming, well-digging, war preparation efforts. They were not trained "salesmen", who sometimes can't persuade anyone to buy. The were untrained soldiers trying to persuade armed resistance to sellout in an involuntary life and territory takeover.

    Freed by a miracle; escaped death by a miracle bridge across the red sea; fed by a miracle; occupied territory by a miracle! Would they give up their fears because they felt miracle guaranteed? Hundreds of miracles didn't prevent the disciples from running, hiding (Peter cursing and swearing he didn't know Jesus), giving up on Jesus in fear. Just like us today. Reality. Demonic resistance is reality. Fear is reality. Do we trust the God of miracles to do the miraculous in us, and around us - against all odds? In the US? In Israel? In Rwanda, Russia, Korea, Iran? On the job? In conflicting relationships of marriage, home, church?
    Giants in the land.
    Elohim can! So we can!
    Without faith it is impossible to please Him -
    But with God, all things are possible - The Word

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  8. Thanks, William. Your post makes me to understand the difference between humility and low self-esteem.
    Goris,It's good to trust God, who "does not want to kill us". but does He need to kill us if we don't believe? Isn't our own sin that will kill us unless we accept and take God's gracious remedy?

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  9. I am glad I have an opportunity to read this. I am so happy the message of Hebrew chapter 4 is which converted me to Seventh Day Adventist belief about the Sabbath rest. It took me 5 years thinking about, what makes us Christians fails to keep the Sabbath as the instructed by the 'words of God'. Anyway I loved the statement which says, 'obedience is the fruit of belief'. Our God is alive, if thus we should obey him to trust him. Meaning we can not believe/faith whom we not obey,

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