Grasshoppers & Giants, Nephilim


Numbers 13:33 “There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

The word “Giant” is found several times in the Bible but only three times translated from the word nephil or nephilim (twice in this verse and once in Genesis 6). The giants of Davids time were tall men called giants, and we have tall men today. I’m sure that they seemed much taller when you consider that the average height of a man in those days was around 5 feet.

But, what about these men that the spies saw when Moses sent them into the land of Canaan? What makes them different from the giants of Davids day?

The word Niphil comes from the root word which means fallen. According to Genesis 6 the sons of God produced offspring with the daughters of men. Some say that the sons of God were the righteous men and the daughters of men were the daughters of the unrighteous.

The second explanation is that the sons of God were fallen angels. Thus, the explanation of calling them Nephilim – fallen. But all of these were killed in the flood. There has never been any evidence from scripture that this ever happened again, although it could have.

So, what did the spies see? Keep in mind that Moses had just received Genesis from God along with the commandments and instructions for the tabernacle while he was on the mountain not many weeks or months earlier. They read the instructions for the tabernacle because it was now built. They read the commandments and the instructions for the priests. It stands to reason that the account of Genesis would have been read to the people also.

With this fresh in there minds and mixed in with folklore passed down from Noah’s day that had changed in story by word of mouth, could it not be possible that the spies only assumed that they saw the “fallen ones?”

Later Joshua refers to these people three different time and each time calls them giants or tall men.

The fact is, it is not about what they saw in these tall men but what they then saw about themselves. Ten of the twelve spies allowed their imaginations to dictate what they felt about themselves – grasshoppers.

  • How would the story been different if Moses had thought of himself as a grasshopper before Pharaoh?
  • How would the story been different if Noah had thought of himself as a grasshopper in the feat of building a large ship for 100 years?
  • How would the story  been different if Abraham had thought of himself as a grasshopper – introducing himself to others as “The Father of Many Nations” when he had only a son by a servant?
  • How would David’s story been different had he thought of himself as a grasshopper before the giant of his day?

Then the twelve spies said that the giants also saw them as grasshoppers. Therefore, it must have been true. Whether the giants really did see them as such or were possibly the ones who called them grasshoppers, initiating the feeling of incompetency, it was the choice of the spies what they believed. They chose to believe that they were grasshoppers, incompetent.

God’s blessing was upon Joshua and Caleb because they refused to accept that image of themselves. As a result, 40 years later Joshua is taking Moses place as leader into conquer the land and Caleb wants to take the very mountain where the lived giants at the age of 80. That is courage!

Many people have had a calling or a vision God gave them and yet they did nothing about it because the felt like a grasshopper before a giant.

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Renewing Your Mind


Here is a list that I came up with years ago to promote biblical thinking. I will say that I did see a small list like this that began it’s creation within me. I challenge read this every morning or pick one at a time as a devotion.

Proverbs 23:7 As a man thinks in his heart, so does he become.

  1. I am a child of God. (Rom. 8:16)
  2. I am redeemed and forgiven of my past. (Eph. 1:7)
  3. I am saved by grace through faith. (Eph. 2:8)
  4. I am cleaned up and set apart, sanctified. (1 Cor. 6:11)
  5. I am shedding the old man of my past and putting on the new. (Eph. 4:22-24)
  6. I am adopted by the Spirit of adoption. (Rom. 8:15)
  7. I am dead in my body but alive in the Spirit. (Rom. 8:10)
  8. I am the temple of God. (1 Cor. 3:16-17)
  9. I am allowing the fruit of the Spirit to grow in me. (Gal. 5:22-23)
  10. I am led by the Spirit of God. (Rom. 8:14)
  11. I am being filled with the Spirit. (Eph. 5:18)
  12. I am delivered from the powers of darkness. (Col. 1:13)
  13. I am kept in safety wherever I go. (Ps. 91:11)
  14. I am sealed with the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing my inheritance. (Eph. 1:13-14)
  15. I am holding firm to my faith that I profess. (Heb. 4:14)
  16. I am denying myself, taking up my cross and following Jesus. (Mat. 16:24)
  17. I am seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Mat. 6:33)
  18. I am glued to Christ by His love and nothing can separate me. (Rom. 8:38-39)
  19. I am denying worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, godly. (Tit. 2:12)
  20. I am getting all my needs met by Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)
  21. I am casting all my cares on Jesus. (1 Pet. 5:7)
  22. I am satisfied with what I have, not overspending. (Heb. 13:5)
  23. I am fearing the Lord and keeping His commands. (Deu. 6:2)
  24. I am allowing the Holy Spirit to grow His ministry gifts in me. (Rom. 12:6-8)
  25. I am allowing the Holy Spirit to work power gifts through me. (1 Cor. 12:7-10)
  26. I am trusting the Lord with all my heart. (Pro. 3:5-6)
  27. I am hiding God’s word in my heart so I will not sin against Him. (Ps. 119:11)
  28. I am receiving the Kingdom of God as a little child. (Mark 10:15)
  29. I am loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30)
  30. I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Eph. 6:10)
  31. I am not tempted by God for God tempts no one. (Jam. 1:13-15)
  32. I am a possessor of the sure mercies of David. (Acts 13:34; 2 Sam. 7:8-15)
  33. I am doing all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)
  34. I am dressed in garments of praise instead of the spirit of depression. (Isa 61:3)
  35. I am rejoicing always and praying without ceasing. (1 Thes. 5:16,17)
  36. I am boldly coming to God’s throne in time of need. (Heb. 4:16)
  37. I am presenting my requests to God only in the attitude of gratitude. (Phil. 4:6)
  38. I am giving thanks in everything. (1 Thes. 5:18)
  39. I am not quenching the Spirit or despising prophecies. (1 Thes. 4:19,20)
  40. I am holding fast to what is good and abstaining from evil. (1 Thes. 5:21-22)
  41. I am an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus. (Rom. 8:17)
  42. I am heir to the blessings of Abraham. (Gal. 3:13,14)
  43. I am seeking God’s will on earth. (Mat. 6:10)
  44. I am a doer of the word and not hearing it only. (Jam. 1:22)
  45. I am blessed coming in and blessed going out. (Deu. 28:6)
  46. I am an heir of eternal life. (1 John 5:11,12)
  47. I am seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:6)
  48. I am blessed with all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3)
  49. I am healed by His stripes. (1 Pet. 2:24)
  50. I am healthy and prospering as my soul prospers. (3 John 2)
  51. I am exercising my authority over the enemy. (Luke 10:19)
  52. I am the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath. (Deu. 28:13)
  53. I am more than a conqueror through Christ. (Rom. 8:37)
  54. I am asking my Father for wisdom who gives liberally. (Jam. 1:5)
  55. I am establishing God’s Word here on earth. (Mat. 16:19)
  56. I am redeeming the time for the days are evil. (Eph. 5:15-16)
  57. I am an overcomer by His blood and the word of my testimony. (Rev. 12:11)
  58. I am daily overcoming the Devil. (1 John 4:4)
  59. I am putting on the whole armor of God. (Eph. 6:10-18)
  60. I am not moved by what I see. (2 Cor. 4:18)
  61. I am walking by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7)
  62. I am where my faith takes me. (Mat. 9:29)
  63. I am asking according to His will. (1 John 5:14)
  64. I am casting down vain imaginations. (2 Cor. 10:4-5)
  65. I am bringing every thought into captivity. (2 Cor. 10:5)
  66. I am being transformed by the renewing of my mind. (Rom. 12:1,2)
  67. I am filling my mind with only good things. (Phil. 4:8)
  68. I am not allowing corrupt communication to come from my mouth. (Eph. 4:29)
  69. I am making God’s Word a daily part of my life. (Josh. 1:8)
  70. I am seeking to know God face to face. (Ex. 33:11)
  71. I am laying aside every weight and sin, running with endurance. (Heb. 12:1)
  72. I am quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. (Jam. 1:19)
  73. I am a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation–special. (1 Pet. 2:9)
  74. I am an important part of the body of Christ. (1 Cor. 12:14-27)
  75. I am yoked with Jesus, working with Him in His Kingdom. (Mat. 11:28-30)
  76. I am caring for the needs of others before I consider my wants. (1 Cor. 12:25,26)
  77. I am meeting with other believers regularly. (Heb. 10:25)
  78. I am loving my neighbor as myself. ( Mark 12:31)
  79. I am keeping my relationships pure to keep my worship pure. (Mat. 5:23-24)
  80. I am speaking blessing only and not cursing, negative or putdowns. (Jam. 3:10)
  81. I am working on the church that is in my house. (Acts 2:46)
  82. I am looking out for the interest of others. (Phil. 2:3,4)
  83. I am allowing God’s leaders to equip me for ministry. (Eph. 4:11)
  84. I am called to be a minister in God’s kingdom. (Eph. 4:12)
  85. I am called with a holy calling. (2 Tim. 1:9)
  86. I am walking worthy of my calling. (Eph. 4:1)
  87. I am building up the body of Christ, encouraging and blessing. (Eph. 4:12)
  88. I am speaking only that which builds up others. (Eph. 4:29)
  89. I am obeying those who have authority over me. (Heb. 13:17)
  90. I am working out my own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil. 2:12)
  91. I am rightly dividing God’s word. (2 Tim. 2:15)
  92. I am an imitator of Jesus. (Eph. 5:1)
  93. I am the salt of the earth and a light of the world. (Mat. 5:13,14)
  94. I am not disobedient to the heavenly vision. (Acts 26:19)
  95. I am a true worshiper, worshiping in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23)
  96. I am waiting upon the Lord which will renew my strength. (Isa. 40:31)
  97. I am allowing the Holy Spirit to intercede for me. (Rom. 8:26)
  98. I am praying and singing in the spirit when possible. (2 Cor. 14:14,15)
  99. I am speaking with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. (Eph. 5:19)
  100. I am watching and praying for Christ’s return. (Luke 21:36)
  101. I am giving to God according to my heart. (Luke 6:38)
  102. I am receiving more blessings than I can handle because of tithe. (Mal. 3:10)
  103. I am blessing the Lord, His praise shall always be in my mouth. (Ps. 34:1)
  104. I am praising Him in the dance, song and instrument. (Ps. 149:3)
  105. I am praying for the peace of Jerusalem. (Ps. 122:6)
Think on these things

Jacob Boehm, Running For Your Life


Pietists

Pietists

After learning a trade Jacob Boehm traveled, as was custom, as a itinerant journeymen for three years.  The purpose was to make him a finished workman.  In his wanderings Jacob fell in with a people called Pietists.  In many respects they resembled the Puritans.  He was converted among them.  The change was so great when he returned home, his language so strange, that his friends could not understand him.  His singular experience, his exposure of formal religion, his boldness in reproving sin, raised a storm of persecution.  The minister withstood him, and denounced him as a heretic.  His answers were so pertinent that his father gave him a severe reprimand.  The Church exercised civil as well as ecclesiastical authority, and young Boehm was convicted of heresy, and sentenced to prison.  An elder brother was appointed to conduct him to the prison-house.  He did not watch his brother closely, and as they were near the line that separated Switzerland from France the prisoner crossed over, and was forever free from his domestic and priestly persecutors.

He journeyed along the banks of the Rhine till he entered the Dukendom of Pfaltz.  This was the Palatine bordering on Belgium.  From this region were the ancestors of Philip Embury.  There young Jacob became acquainted with a people called Mennonites.  They took their name from Menno Simon, who was contemporary with Luther.  They were a simple-hearted people, and he united with them, and became a lay elder.

By the way, this is a relative of mine in which I am proud of.

Longing for the Wilderness Experiences


In The Wilderness

In The Wilderness

Luke 5:16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

All of my life I have been taught that spiritual wilderness walking was something to be feared. It was recognized by lonely times, moments that God felt so far way.

We often relate the wilderness to spiritual hunger and thirst, doing without, wondering with no direction. But, is it really.

  • Was it not in the wilderness that God gave Israel their first laws as a new nation?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that Israel never had to worry about hunger again because of God’s Manna that He sent them?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that Israel’s clothes never became thread bare?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that God was always visible to Israel as a cloud by day and a fire by night. Never in their history was God ever so close to them visibly.

It is true that all but two of the first generation out of Egypt died in the wilderness. But when we are spending time in God’s presence, learning during lean times how faithful He is to provide – that is when the desires of Egypt can be conquered and our Independence can be placed in check.

Jesus often went into the wilderness to pray. His 40 day fasting took place in the wilderness. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness.

The promise land is wonderful, but let’s not forget what can be accomplished back in the wilderness.

That leads me to another question as food for thought. If Israel moving into the promise land represents heaven, as so many songs suggest, then where were there so many battles taking place in the promise land in order to conquer the land?

Alexander Peden


Alexander Peden was born in 1626. He died in 1686 and never married. In all Scottish literature he is known as Prophet Peden. He prophesied things about nations that came to pass. He was always running from the law because of the message he preached. He preached that Jesus was the head of the Church and the English Church said that the King was the head of the church. This mask and wig pictured here is what he often wore to evade the soldiers and are on display in a British museum.

He never had a home but had to always be moving around. He always seemed to know how long he could stay at a home before the authorities came after him. He was famous for this.

One night, in his old age, the soldiers were behind him on horseback catching up to him and he cried out to God. He always referred to himself as “poor old Sandy.” He looked up to heaven and said, “Oh Lord, would you just through you cloak over poor old Sandy?” All of a sudden a fog rolled in, covering up the horsemen. It was so thick that the English could not see one another let alone Alexander Peden.

One time he was caught and imprisoned for just over 4 years. There a young girl that looked through his prison cell and mocked him. And Peden told her that she only had a few hours left to live. Within two to three hours she was washed off the island they were on.

A guard, shortly after that, looked through is prison door and mocked him. Peden told him that not long from now the Spirit of the Lord will fall on you and you will change your mind. It was reported that in less than an hour the guard began to weep and was converted.

In 1682 he officiated the wedding a very godly Scottish couple, John Brown and Isabella Weir. John Brown was farmer but very godly, always helping the persecuted pastors and prophets. Following the ceremony he took Isabella aside and told her, “Today, you have gotten a good man. Prize his company highly. For you shall not enjoy him very long. When you least expect it he will come to a bloody end. Always keep a linen burial sheet close by, because you will be needing it.” What a wedding day prophecy. Every day she thanked God for another day she had John Brown and treasured that relationship.

By 1685 they had two children, a baby boy and a girl almost 2 years old. It was the night of April 30, 1685, Alexander Peden came to their house to spend the night. Early in the morning, before the sun was up, he was heard going out the door saying, “Poor woman, a dark misty morning, Poor woman.”

At 6:00 a.m. John was out in his field when a troop of English soldiers was led by John Graham of Claverhouse, came up and arrested him. John Graham has gone down in history as simply “Claverhouse.” He brought John back to his house and asked him, “Will you repent of your conviction the Christ is the head of the church rather than the King of England?”

Standing beside John Brown was his wife, who was holding the baby, and their little girl. And John Brown said, “No, I will not.”

Then Claverhouse said, “Well, then say your prayers for you shall immediately die.”

John Brown dropped to his knees and he began to pray. Then he stood back up and looked down at Isabelle and said, “Isabelle, you see me, shortly, summoned before the court of our Redeemer, to be a witness in his cause. Are you willing that I should be parted from you?”

Isabelle looked into his eyes and said, “Hartley willing.”

He took her into his arms and he kissed her. Then he kissed his baby boy that was in her arms. Then he knelt down beside his two year old girl. He took her by the hand and said, “My sweet child, always put your hand in God’s hand as your guide. And be a comfort to your mother.”

Then he stood up and he looked up to heaven and said, “Blessed be thou oh Holy Spirit who speaketh more comfort to my heart than the voice of my oppressors can speak terror to my ears.”

This enraged Claverhouse and he order six of his soldiers to shoot John Brown on the spot, but the soldiers remained motionless. They would not draw their weapons. They could not kill someone who love his God that much, who loved his wife that much, who was willing to lay down his life for his God and who had no unkind words for his enemies.

Claverhouse drew his own pistol and shot John Brown right through the head. Brown fell crumpled at the feet of his wife.

Isabelle took off her apron and knelt down and rapped his shattered head with it. Claver house asked her, “Well woman, what thinkest thou now of thy husband?”

Isabelle looked up and she said, “I have always thought well of him, but never more than at this moment.

It was now 7:00 a.m. and Alexander Peden was 11 miles away. He was entering the gate of his friend, John Muirhead’s house. He banged on the door and asked the family to gather around the fireplace with him. He knelt down and said, “Oh Lord, Let the blood of Brown be precious in Thy sight. How long before Thou wilt avenge the blood of John Brown.”

Muirhead grabbed him by the arm and asked him, “What are you talking about?”

Peden said, “This morning, just as the sun was rising, I saw a strange thing in the sky. I saw a bright and shining star fall to the earth. Truly this day, the greatest Christian I have ever conversed has fallen. Claverhouse has been at Priesthill this morning and he has shot John Brown dead and his widow, Isabelle, kneels at his corps with no one to speak comfort to her.

Back at Priesthill the soldiers had all gone. Isabelle gets up and she walks into the house and she gets the linen burial sheet that she has reserved for this very day, since the day of her wedding. And she goes over to the body, and with a shattered heart she begins to wrap the body in that linen burial sheet. But her heart was not shattered over wasted days. She made the most of every day with John because God used a man to prepare of this day.

Surprised by the Voice of God by Jack Deere, 1998

The Fulfilling of Scripture by Robert Flemming, 1668

Giving and Getting


imagesDid you know that there is a chapter in the Bible that is committed to the subjects of our giving and what we get back? Sure there is and it is found in the New Testament. It is the middle of what we call the Sermon on the Mount – chapter 6.

I did a sermon series on this chapter one year and we had 14 documented substantial financial miracles that happened within two months – I’m talking thousands.

Rather than outline the chapter here I challenge you to look and ask yourself how each verse or paragraph fits into one of two categories; giving or receiving. Grab ahold of these biblical principles and watch them transform your life in your finances.

Just remember, although you may be in the midst of financial stresses, do not forget Genesis 15:1 … “Do not be afraid Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

The God Who Hears And Sees


images-14Genesis 16:14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

Ten years have passed since God’s promise to make Abram a father of many nations. So, Sarai came up with a plan, she would allow Abram to take her maidservant as wife and have a child with her.

That did not go so well. This servant from Egypt, now pregnant with the child of a wealthy man (Genesis 13:2) she no longer felt as an outsider but felt herself better than Sarai. She was carrying Abram’s child, not Sarai. Problem!

Sarai, after complaining about Hagar’s attitude, was given the authority to do whatever she wished to Hagar. She kicked her out of camp and sent her home.

A messenger of God found her be a spring, possibly heading back to Egypt. But God had a message for her.

  • I will multiply your descendants exceeding.
  • You will have a boy.
  • His name will be Ishmael (God hears).
  • He will be a wild man.
  • Every man’s hand will be against him.
  • He will dwell in the presence of all his brothers.

She was so excited that God had seen and heard her affliction she called the well, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees.

But, God says to observe where it is located. It is located between Kadesh and Bered. Does that mean anything to you? Well, let’s translated the words and see what it says.

Observe, it (the God who sees) is between Kadesh (holy) and Bered (hail or judgment). Nothing escapes God’s notice. He sees everything between what is holy and what has to be judged. And to remind her he gave her a son whose name is God-hears.