A great dialogue takes place in Numbers 13 and 14 between Joshua and Caleb and the other spies who are reporting to the people about the Promised Land they had just explored….
Other spies: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large….” (13:27).
Caleb: “We should go up and take the land for we can certainly do it” ( 13:30).
Other spies: “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are” (13:31).
Joshua and Caleb: “The land we explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey and will give it to us….do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us” (14:7).
In that conversation, it’s easy to see the kind of deity in which each side trusted. Although the other spies professed a belief in the great and mighty God, their words and actions revealed the god they believed in was actually weak. Unlike Joshua and Caleb, their god was one created in their image. Certainly not big enough for the challenges ahead. And so the opportunity for Israel to taste victory lay lost for the next 40 years.
Times of trouble expose the extent of authority and power we attribute to the God we serve. We sometimes deceive ourselves into thinking we are trusting in an all powerful God when the truth is that He is only as big as we define. Henry Blackaby writes our generation wants “to bring God down to our level, to the commonplace.” But viewing God as commonplace causes us to panic when the “giants” roar.
So if you are struggling with what life is throwing at you right now, consider the question: how big is your God? I don’t want to be like the other spies and treat God with contempt through my unbelief. I want to align myself with Joshua and Caleb and put my trust in a God who is worthy of unshakeable confidence.
I pray you do too.