Giants and Grasshoppers
Mighty God, breathe Your Spirit into me. Sweep through my soul, touch all the hidden currents, and fill all the deep crevices.
Consider: "Shine, Jesus, shine, fill this land with the Father's glory" (Graham Kendrick). A great song and prayer for our country.
Most Christians have a deep concern for the spiritual welfare of their country. We long to see our land honor the Lord. But so often our vision is dulled by reality. The forces of unbelief are "stronger than we are" (31). So we grasshoppers retreat into the security of our swarm while giants stalk the land. As N. T. Wright comments, "In God's master plan the whole world is now God's holy land." He commissions us to possess this land for him by respecting the integrity of the physical environment, and also by exhibiting love and justice in private and in public. Jesus expects us to be "the salt of the earth" (or the land).
So often we are inhibited by the strength of forces raged against us. Verbal blitzkriegs are regularly unleashed by the giants of new atheism. Some atheistic diatribes "make the Taliban look tame" (John Humphrys). Not only are there giants. Walled cities exist where those who affirm Christian principles are refused employment or denied a voice. Believers are not the only victims. Today's secular utopias devour their citizens (32). It is ordinary people, not the elite, who pay the price of financial corruption, industrial bribery, political opportunism and casual workplace cynicism.
So we can sympathize with the majority in Israel's reconnaissance party: "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are" (31). For the majority, Canaan was a problem. On the other hand, Joshua and Caleb saw advancing into the land as a great opportunity to prove that God keeps his promises. For these two, Canaan was the land the Lord swore to give them (14:16, ESV). For us, the nations of the world have been promised to Christ as his inheritance (Psa. 2:8). Do we have the faith and vision of Joshua and Caleb to see this promise becoming a reality in our lifetime?
When have you felt like a "grasshopper" (13) as you faced difficulties? How did God help You deal with the situation?
Lord, I need to lift my eyes from noticing the cracks in the path of life to seeing the stars in the skies. I need to turn from focusing on heartaches to celebrating Your blessings.
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