when the majority is NOT always right

Do you remember the story of the 12 Canaan spies? I’ve fallen in love with that story again as I’ve studied it for a couple weeks now.

Know what I’m most intrigued by? The fact that 12 guys could go for 40 days seeing the same dirt, grass, & hills; enduring the same weather; eating the same scrumptious fruit; wandering the same walled cities – and come back with 2 completely different stories!

When the spies report to Moses, they all agree that Canaan is a huge, fertile land flowing with milk and honey, rife with strong, fortified cities, and full of giants. Their conclusions are vastly different, though.

  1. Minority of 2 say with confidence, “Let’s occupy it today. We are well able to overcome it!”
  2. Majority of 10 conclude – “The land will eat us up. ALL the people are giants. We looked like grasshoppers beside them – and they thought so too!”

Grasshopper WHAT?!

That grasshopper line stumped me when I read it in Numbers. Where in the world did that come from? And I was even more baffled after I went outside to water my flowers and God had gifted me with a grasshopper of my very own in my flowerbed. The little guy just posed there patiently for his photo shoot while I dashed around finding my phone and trying to get the lens to focus on him instead of the rocks.

my grasshopper(I must say I’m pretty proud of the hand shots. That’s some hefty “not gross and creepy” mental affirmation I’m sporting while he crawls with his little, feathery feet. Eesh!)

See how small the little guy looks on my hand? That insect is what the 10 spies said they felt like next to the Canaanites:

“We seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

What?!? Okay, I’m no mathematician, and I’ve never been very good at mentally measuring distance or height – but think about this with me. Even if the Canaanites were 12’ tall (and it’s more historically likely they were just pushing 9’), that grasshopper ratio is still waaaay off! Right? I mean, seriously!

The Cure for Grasshopperitis (a.k.a. fear)

But isn’t that how our minds work when we let fear tell our story for us? Like the man whose fish gets bigger and bigger with each retelling, the height of the obstacle grows and grows and the width of our power to overcome shrinks and shrinks the longer we listen to fear.

So, when I think about my own fears that grow into mind giants some days, what I wonder is – what’s the antidote to grasshopperitis?

EASY! The same fix the 2 spies used – truth from God.

When God told Moses to send the 12 spies, He said, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel.”

  • Not “Send them out so they can see if they’re brave enough to fight those scary guys.”
  • Not “Send ‘em on ahead to get the lay of the land and figure out the best way to outwit the giants.”
  • Not even “Go see if ya’ll feel like messing with this conquer-the-land thing ‘cuz it’s gonna be H.A.R.D.”

Just a simple, “I’m giving the land to you.”

Let’s pretend for a minute that those 10 spies WERE spatially correct and DID appear as grasshoppers next to the Canaanites — small enough to fit in the palm of a single, beefy hand.

Even that size wouldn’t have mattered because the Israelites had something those big guys didn’t – God and a big, fat promise on their side!

And so do we.

If God is for us, who can stand against us? -Romans 8:31 (ESV)

**This 12 spies story is part of a free inspirational training lesson (that includes the story plus some fun things we never think about like Joshua and Caleb’s reactions). When you subscribe to the newsletter, you get a FREE copy of the audio PLUS a bonus companion guide that shares the most important step to increase the quality of your life!

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