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Facing giants

From the January 2012 issue of The Christian Science Journal


To human perception, there are giants—it might be a giant of illness, age, depression, lack, concern about the future, spiritual despair, inharmony in church. We each face giants, but how one thinks about them helps put their looming size into perspective. The Bible sheds light on this with the story of Joshua and Caleb, whom Moses sent to scout Canaan (see Num., chaps. 13 and 14). Moses wanted them to assess the land and people. In total, 12 scouts were sent, one from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Just before they left, Moses gave Hoshea, the son of Nun, the new name of Joshua (Num. 13:16) or “God saves.” He then called upon them all to “Be ye of good courage” (Num. 13:20). 

After 40 days, Joshua and Caleb returned with grapes, pomegranates, and figs, and said: “We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; . . . Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great. . . . And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we” (Num. 13:27, 28, 30, 31).

The majority, ten of the 12, reported seeing giants “and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers” (Num. 13:33). The more they told their story, the more real it became to them, and the more the people’s terror grew.

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