Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Whereas our Almighty ever Beneficent Father loves to bless us with the most exquisite gifts, He also thrills at the idea that we can trust Him for them in spite of all that may seem to stand between us and them. As a result, He often hides His gifts behind seeming walls of difficulties, obstructions and impossibilities. Such was the case with our forefathers as they arrived in Kadesh and saw the Anakim, a race of people who were supposedly extinct from the earth by the Flood. The Torah doesn’t bother to explain how these people still existed after the flood. A fanciful; explanation in Jewish literature suggests that a fellow named Og clang to the roof of the ark.
Along with their giant owners, the Children of Israel could also see the giant clusters of grapes of the area of Eshcol (meaning: cluster of grapes), a sign of the Land’s promising fertility. The clusters were so full with giant grapes that it took two people to carrying one on a pole between them. Jewish eschatology teaches that in the World to Come, the Land will give again grape clusters of that caliber. In the meantime, the giants stood between the people and the grapes. This is when the test of real faith comes. Those who see the giants feel dwarfed to locust’s size; Joshua and Caleb saw God instead which in their eyes dwarfed the giants. We know what happened next, ten spies discouraged the generation of Israelites which had to hen die in the desert waiting for their children, a generation raised under Moses and God’s care, to grow and conquer this Land.
Will we ever know the blessings we may have inherited had we looked at God instead of sizing the difficulties? We often complain about the way things are but how many initiative for improvement go by un-attempted because we “count the cost’ forgetting to include the God factor. It seems that often our own faulty perspective is our personal giant; we downsize God to the dimensions of our fears. It must make Him feel insulted; what if your three-year old child downsized you to his level of trust and didn’t think you his father could protect him against an eight-year old?
May we ponder on this sad chapter in the history of our fathers in the desert. Mostly, may we learn to recognize our unfounded fears and return God to Its proper perspective in our minds. Knowing that the time to favor Zion has come and that we live in a time of unprecedented fulfillment of the promises of the Father towards us His children, may we approach Him boldly with our requests knowing that He is more willing to grant them to us than we are willing to receive them.