In Numbers 13-14, Moses sent twelve men to explore the land of Canaan which was the land that God had promised to the Israelites. The men went to observe what the people and land were like and then returned with their report. Here is some of what they said:
“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. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”
Are you beginning to get the picture?
Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ” We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size…We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
A grasshopper in this passage represents something that is small and inferior and the ten men used the small insect to compare themselves to the powerful and strong people they observed in the land of Canaan. A key phrase that revealed their human perspective was when they said, ”we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes.” They were focused on themselves and so their observations became skewed. They failed to recognize that it wasn’t about them but about God and His power. They weren’t connecting with the fact that the Lord would go before them and give them the land even if there were giants living there! A grasshopper perspective can cause us to be narrow minded in our focus and keep us from seeing what God truly desires to do in our lives.
On the other hand, Joshua and Caleb gave an accurate report because they were looking at the situation from God’s perspective. They went on to report to the people:
“The land we passed through and 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. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And 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. Do not be afraid of them.”
Question to think about: What are you facing in your ministry or life that seems overwhelming and what perspective will you choose?