Numbers 13

“So he says to me, ‘Watch out for giants in the earth.’”

“What do you mean…like the novel?”

“That’s what I said. But he says, ‘No, I mean…real giants.’”

“What, like the Jolly Green Giant?”

“That’s what I said. And he says, ‘Look at the size of those grapes. Who do you think eats giant grapes that size? Giants.’ Can you believe that? What am I going to do? Go back to Moses and report that we spotted giants in the land? I’d look like an idiot.”

But there were giants in the earth. And 10 of the 12 spies sent into the land of Canaan do return to Moses with a disfavorable, frightening account of the prospect put before the people in conquering the land. And the people lose their nerve. This colossal collapse of confidence on the part of the people of Israel, after a series of recent disasters, is at least understandable. The exodus generation’s failure to capture the land of Canaan is perhaps to be thought of as inevitable in light of their own history. Reared in slavery and having suffered painful setbacks, these folks have simply been cowed. It would take a new generation to complete the journey that they had begun.

©2020 Joel Picard