Read Numbers 13:17-33
17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way by the South, and go up into the hill-country: 18 and see the land, what it is; and the people that dwell therein, whether they are strong or weak, whether they are few or many; 19 and what the land is that they dwell in, whether it is good or bad; and what cities they are that they dwell in, whether in camps, or in strongholds; 20 and what the land is, whether it is fat or lean, whether there is wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the first-ripe grapes. 21 So they went up, and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, to the entrance of Hamath. 22 And they went up by the South, and came unto Hebron; and Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were there. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 And they came unto the valley of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it upon a staff between two; they brought also of the pomegranates, and of the figs. 24 That place was called the valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the children of Israel cut down from thence. 25 And they returned from spying out the land at the end of forty days. 26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us; and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 28 Howbeit the people that dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29 Amalek dwelleth in the land of the South: and the Hittite, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, dwell in the hill-country; and the Canaanite dwelleth by the sea, and along by the side of the Jordan. 30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 31 But the men that went up with him said, We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Look at verse 17
This is the assignment that they were given by Moses. What did they do? Did they follow directions or did they do something else?
They were supposed to find out if the other guy was
Strong or weak?
Few or many?
What cities they dwell in…
Camps or strongholds?
They were supposed to measure the land. Was it…
Good or bad?
Lean or fat?
Is there wood in the land?
The only things they were told about themselves was to be of good courage.
They were also directed to bring the fruit of the land and we are told that it was the time of the first-ripe grapes
They brought back the fruit of the land…grapes, figs, and pomegranates (verse 23). They were obedient in this
Their report of the land was that it was flowing with milk and honey.
They reported that the people were strong and their cities were fortified and very great
What did that mean?
Verse 28 The nkjv says “people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of ï»¿Anak there”
Anak was a giant. So his children were giants also. The Amalekites were also there. Although Caleb had seen all of this, he was still able to encourage the people in verse 30 saying “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”
He saw the situation, but didn’t measure himself because he knew who God is. The men who went with him were different. They measured themselves against the people of the land and said in verse 31 that “we can’t, they are stronger than we.” They lost sight of who God is, His promises, and who they were in Him. They were not sent to evaluate. They were sent to observe. That was their job. Yet with the information that they gathered, they made their own evaluation.
The word says in verse 32 that they brought an evil report of the land. “the land is eaten up and the Nephilim, the children of Anak were there. Because the people knew what this meant they were now discouraged and lost sight of who God is and that He had already destroyed the Nephilim before. (Genesis 6)
“We were in our sight as grasshoppers and also in their sight”. Moses did not ask what they looked like in their own sight nor in the sight of the people of that land.
How many times has God given us an assignment and we do more than He asked. Thinking that what we were doing was right, we may have been in disobedience and unbelief. We end up measuring ourselves according to what we see. God tells us who we are. When He tells us to observe, he doesn’t call us to compare ourselves or to evaluate the situation with “me” as a factor. We must say, “I am not a factor. God is!”
Application: Look a things with an observing eye and not with an evaluating one, unless God calls me to do so.
Don’t measure myself against others. God determines who I am.
Prayer: Father, help me to see things the way that you see them. Help me not to compare myself to others, hence disqualifying myself.
Help me to see myself the way you see me. Help me to trust in who you are.
~ in Jesus’ Mighty Name