“We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” –Numbers 13:33 BSB
After 400 years of slavery, the Hebrew children were finally free. However, the slave mentality didn’t end at the same time their slavery ended. Four hundred years is a long time — enough time to bake into 35 generations a mindset of smallness, powerlessness, insecurity, indecisiveness, fear, and devaluation. It’s plenty of time to make a mind believe that harm is acceptable and current circumstances are the way things are supposed to be.
Those of us reading this article have hopefully never endured a life of slavery, yet many of you can probably identify with some of the words listed above that have been baked into your subconscious as a result of living through events that have challenged you to your core. Perhaps these events came about through no fault of your own, or perhaps they were a result of your choices.
The Hebrews arrived at the promised land a few weeks after being set free. This land supplied plenty to eat and drink; they would be able to live out their lives according to the determinations of their hearts. Only one thing stopped them from taking possession of what God had said was rightfully theirs: the giants in the land.
They feared the giants so much that they chose to spend 40 years in the wilderness instead of overcoming those fears. The wilderness was a place where they could not cultivate, put down roots, or gain any stability for themselves or their children. They wandered around the same mountain year after year, blaming Moses, Aaron, and God for their misfortunes. Because they saw themselves as small and expendable, they believed that everyone else saw them that way as well. The lie “we are like grasshoppers,” which they accepted as truth, drove every decision they made.
What decisions have you made as a result of seeing yourself as a grasshopper? Do you want to return to school, start another career, live a different lifestyle, move to another city, start over, or just be who you really are? How long have you been wandering in the wilderness because you are too afraid to face the giants in the land?
Caleb and Joshua believed God when he said they could defeat the giants; they wanted to go to battle for what was theirs. However, they chose to remain with their people, so 40 years later, Caleb (by then in his 80s) went into that very land of giants and established his rightful inheritance. His example proves it is never too late to embrace what has been promised to you. May you have the courage to see yourself as the conqueror that God made you and not as an insect who must go wherever the wind blows.