And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of … Israel, “The land … is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. … The LORD is with us; do not fear them.”
There’s a wonderful account recorded in 2 Kings 6 where the prophet Elisha and his servant, Gehazi, are surrounded by a Syrian army in the city of Dothan. The scene culminates in Gahazi rushing frantically into Elisha’s chamber, crying out in exasperation, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” But, unmoved, Elisha responds with masterful insight: “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” The words aren’t enough to brighten Gahazi’s expression, so Elisha prays on his behalf: “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” And God does. When Gahazi looks out again across the menacing hills, “behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” Heavenly armies have a way of dwarfing men’s armies, don’t they? Goliaths don’t look so tall next to archangels. And remember: we as God’s children are always in the care of those.
What faithless men deem as insurmountable walls, faithful men deem as stepping stones. What fretful souls call dead ends, courageous souls call unblazed trails. What discontented eyes see as menacing and treacherous and a lost cause, trusting eyes see as inviting and level and a path to victory. The difference between men like Elisha, Joshua, and Caleb, and their counterparts isn’t that one sees the Almighty and the other doesn’t, but that one esteems the Almighty above all worldly powers. The deficiency in Israel’s chieftains isn’t so much their lack of vision but their lack of valuation. They greatly over-estimate the enemy and gravely underestimate God.
Oh, that we today would first see for ourselves how infinitesimally small the surrounding armies are compared to God’s abiding presence, and then fall to our knees in prayer for our unbelieving brothers.