At that time, he and Caleb had been the only two who believed they could take the land. The other ten spies had all claimed the land was full of giants and could not be conquered. Alas! No amount of pleading on Caleb and Joshua’s part changed their mind. And the Israelites wandered another forty years in the wilderness as a result.
This time around, Joshua was not putting anything up for a vote. God had told him to lead his people into Canaan. Joshua’s question was not whether or not to proceed. It was only how best to go about it. Thus, he secretly sent two spies he trusted to get the lay of the land and report back.
When they did, they said nothing about giants! Or being grasshoppers in their eyes! They only said, “These people will easily fall into our hands!” Joshua knew this already! After all, he had seen the Canaanites first hand; and he knew they were not really giants and that they could never withstand Israel.
The lesson here is this: do not fall prey to over-rated and trumped up giants! No matter how big they may appear, they are only mere Canaanites acting big! Maybe you are facing a giant or group of giants today. If so, consider the following story.
80 years ago, Notre Dame was preparing to play USC. Coach Knute Rockne was aware that his opponent had a far better team, so he devised a plan to intimidate the Trojan players. Rockne scoured the city of South Bend and hand-picked 100 of the largest men he could find - each of them was at least six - foot - five and three hundred pounds. He put them in Fighting Irish uniforms and at game time marched them onto the field ahead of the real team. (Obviously, 80 years ago was long before the days of limited rosters and eligibility restrictions.)
As USC watched these giants line up on the sidelines, they forgot about their talent and their undefeated record - and they began mentally preparing themselves for a beating. Though none of these specially recruited men ever played during the game, their presence on the sidelines was enough to knock Southern Cal's concentration off balance. Knute Rockne's trick had worked; he had intimidated the Trojan players into giving up before the game even started. As a result, Notre Dame won the game.*
As Christians, we struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil himself. In that struggle, the enemy tries a similar trick. He wants to intimidate us by making these foes appear much bigger than they actually are. When he does, remember this one great Biblical promise from the Apostle John’s first New Testament Letter (4:4): "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world."
So, no matter what you are facing today, try not to let your problems get the best of you by intimidation. No matter how big the enemy may appear to be, you have God on your side; and He is greater than any enemy you face. It worked for Joshua at Jericho, and again for David as he stood against Goliath. And it will work for you and me as well.
*SOURCE: Story can be found at: http://injesus.com/message-archives/inspiration/thedailyencourager/dont-quit-5. It is also recounted in a previous post at injesus.com, where Steve May at http://www.sermonnotes.com is credited as the original source of this story.