To dispossess the giants that dwell on God’s promises, we need to reach the giants.
Are the cities they dwell in open fields or walled in?
Ten of the explorers report that the cities are fortified and very large. They weren’t wrong!
The cities throughout the land had tall stone walls built around them designed to protect from enemy attacks. Stones were dug deep into the ground, so that they could not be knocked down. Excavations of the region reveal that the stone walls could be up to 9 feet thick! These fortified cities were the marks of highly resourced communities with infrastructures they were determined to protect.
How could the Israelites possibly penetrate the fortified walls to possess God’s promises?
Caleb offers a different response: “Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us.”
From Caleb’s response, we see that the question Moses was asking was not about penetration, but protection. Caleb knew they may not penetrate through the walls, but they were under God’s protection.
In the original Hebrew, Caleb’s response is a figure of speech. In English, we read it as “protection”, but the analogy is: “The shadow from the cloud isn’t over them; it’s over us.” In this arid region of the world, the shadows of the clouds covered people from getting scorched by the sun. The shadows from the cloud were protection.
The shadow from the cloud is over us.
The Israelites dwelled in tents. The giants in the cities dwelled behind walls.
Overcoming the giants would be a challenge. But God overshadowed the Israelites.
We may look at the giants in our lives and say: “we can’t penetrate the walls protecting them.”
Giants can’t build the protection God gives us.
Walls trap us.
Shadows free us.
Walls limit us.
Shadows make us limitless.
Fast forward to the birth of Jesus. Mary asked the Angel how she could possibly be pregnant. The angel responds:
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…For nothing will be impossible with God” // Luke 1:35; 37
The word “overshadow” spoken to Mary is a similar word spoken to the Israelites. When we realize God overshadows us, the possibilities are limitless. We move in the freedom of possibilities – the possibilities to possess new opportunities and to birth new visions. These possibilities do not come shut up behind walls.
Psalm 91:1 says it this way: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
Many scholars attribute this Psalm to Moses looking towards possessing God’s promise.
We don’t need to be concerned about giants that dwell behind walls.
We dwell in freedom.
We dwell under the shadow of God.
Walk towards God’s promises.
Walk under the freedom of God’s shadow.
This story continues as the twelve explores respond to each of the 4 categories of questions. Join in on the journey of learning to possess God’s promises!
In the tension together,
P.S. To explore the story of Caleb more in depth, stay tuned for my new book: Color Me Yellow // Finding Your Voice in the Tension between God’s Promises and their Fulfillment
Questions to Ponder:
- How can the freedom of God’s shadow allow you to walk towards God’s promises this week?
- What possibilities can you seize this week?