The Podcast of this Teaching is Here
Intro and Prayer
Today is Tuesday, June 28th – On the Biblical Calendar it’s the 29th of Sivan, 5782. [see-van]
Today was the day the 12 Spies were Dispatched to Search Out the Promised Land –
About 3,500 years ago today. It took 40 days. Today’s decision DID NOT END WELL.
You could say today is the root of much of their suffering.
And the next 40 days historically is filled with tragedy after tragedy. Let’s hit the headlines.
This Friday, the month of Tammuz begins, followed by the month of Av.
In 722 B.C., Assyria captured Samaria and exiled all the northern tribes. They never returned.
136 years later on the 9th of Tammuz in 586 BC, the Babylonian armies of King Nebuchadnezzar breached the walls of Jerusalem. 40 days later on the 9th of Av they destroyed Solomon’s Temple.
Almost everyone from the tribe of Judah was exiled to Babylon, including King Ziddikiahu.
In 70 A.D. on the 17th of Tammuz the Romans breached Jerusalem’s walls. 40 days later on the 9th of Av they destroyed Herod’s Temple. Both breaches came A Week Apart and both temples were destroyed on the same day 650 years apart.
The 17th of Tammuz is the beginning of The Three Weeks – a time of fasting that ends on the 9th of Av. The 9th of Av, when they are punished by God, is considered the saddest day of the year, but it should be today. All their suffering can be traced back to TODAY’s terrible decision to play I Spy about 3,500 years ago. So, I’m not here to talk about a Feast. I have come in to teach about life in the wilderness. When deliverance turns in to discouragement:
- How do we Face our Giants properly?
- How do we Walk with Jesus while passing through the wilderness?
- We’re going all the way back to the war in heaven to see how it impacted mankind.
- We’re going to visit the flood and its aftermath.
- We’re going to discover where our giants came from.
- We’re going to Look at the power of a Name.
and lot’s more, plus lots of great anointed worship, and of course I will be taking time to make an appeal for you to give because we have a need.
We all continually face giants. Some of those giants seem unbeatable.
They are Goliaths challenging us to face them and they are unbeatable.
But as we start today, we absolutely must take a moment to celebrate an unbeatable giant that no longer has his head. After nearly 50 years a giant’s head finally fell to the ground on Friday.
Roe v Wade Was Overturned, and states were given the right to determine the legality of abortion. That giant’s head took a long time to hit the ground. Prayers were answered. And the 3 new justices added by our previous president made the difference.
It’s still just the beginning of a very long battle. But the giant’s head is on the ground.
So, we need to say thank you Jesus and pray that every mother carrying a baby in her womb will celebrate the birth of a gift of God here, there, and everywhere on this earth one day.
VPD Appeal I don’t always come in and teach during the summer months, but thanks to:
- lower giving which we always face in the summer months.
- and the financial hit that covid brought which eliminated all of our surplus which helps us make it through the lean times.
- and our economy is delivering challenging issues to many of our donors.
- and despite the amazing giving from a rather small portion of our listeners.
- Victory is still more crawling along, than walking through these hot, hot summer months.
1. I Spy With My Little Eye
Today was the day the 12 Spies were Dispatched to search out the Promised Land.
We all continually face giants. And we have to face them with the tools we have (faith, hope, prayer, fears, worries, memories that shaped us, opponents that beat us, etc.) It’s important to understand what we’re facing.
So, before we play, “I Spy” or “12 Spies”, let’s check where we are on the Biblical Calendar:
Around 3,500 years ago (1,500 before Yeshua Jesus came):
The children of Israel had been slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years,
Then God sent Moses to set them free; He used 10 Horrible Plagues; The First Passover,
the death angel killed the first born, Pharaoh let them go, and They Walked Out of Egypt.
They grumbled a lot and God split the Red Sea, so they crossed safely. They grumbled some more, and God made bread come down from heaven for them (manna), and He sent that manna every day after. They grumbled some more, and God made water come out of a rock for them. The Amalekites attacked them, and God helped them to victory.
They traveled for 6 weeks thru the desert. On the 1st day of Sivan the 3rd month, 45 days later, they arrived at Mount Sinai. On the 2nd of Sivan, God called them His “Chosen Treasure”. It is called the Day of Distinction.
On the 6th Sivan, seven weeks after the Exodus, Yehovah revealed Himself on Mount Sinai for The First Pentecost.
All of the people of Israel (600,000 families) heard God speak His commands.
The people were terrified and refused to hear Him speak anymore. Grumble, grumble, grumble.
Moses went up on the mountain for 40 days, to receive the remainder of the Torah.
They grumbled and made the golden calf, made the Tabernacle, and received the rest of the Law.
They spent almost a year at Sinai and then on the 20th day of the 2nd Month Israel set out from Sinai toward the Promised Land. From Sinai it’s an eleven-day journey to the land of Canaan, (The Promised Land). That, however, is not what happened. They made it three days and started grumbling about how tired they were of the manna, so God sent them quail and said, “You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the Lord who is among you…”
“But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of Yehovah was aroused against the people, and Yehovah struck the people with a very great plague. So he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah [Graves of Craving], because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving…” Numbers 11
Then Miriam, the sister of Moses, got a real bad attitude, and God struck her with leprosy for a week. So instead of an 11-day journey, it took them 40 days for them to finally arrive at the border. But then…they don’t want to go in.
And…we are all caught up. That day was the 29th of Sivan; today about 3,500 years ago. What went wrong?
These are the words of Moses on this very day, “Look, Yehovah your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as Yehovah God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 1:21
The definition of dis-couraged is: having lost confidence or enthusiasm; disheartened. The prefix dis- is used to: express negation. In this case. Your courage is gone.
The definition of courage is: the ability to do something that frightens one and/or strength in the face of pain or grief. Even after a year of freedom, they were still slaves. Maybe even worse than slaves because they were their own masters. They couldn’t submit to God. So they had no hope of freedom. Romans 6:16 “…you are slaves of the one you obey…” Who do I obey? That’s what we need to ask ourselves today. We may the giant we have to slay.
2. Good Men and Dead Men
Today was the day the 12 Spies were Dispatched to search out the Promised Land.
We all continually face giants. It’s important to understand what we’re facing.
So, the Israelites made it to the border of the Promised Land. And that’s as far as they would make it. What happened?
Moses tells the story in Deuteronomy 1: “So we departed from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the mountains of the Amorites, as Yehovah our God had commanded us. Then we came to Kadesh Barnea.
And I said to you, ‘You have come to the mountains of the Amorites, which Yehovah our God is giving us. Look, Yehovah your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as Yehovah Elohim of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.”
“And every one of you came near to me and said, ‘Let us send men before us, and let them search out the land for us, and bring back word to us of the way by which we should go up, and of the cities into which we shall come.” These jokers were just as rebellious as they were on every other part of this exodus. And Moses made the worst mistake of his life. Moses said,
“The plan pleased me well; so I took twelve of your men, one man from each tribe. And they departed and went up into the mountains, and came to the Valley of Eshcol, and spied it out.”
When we hear that request from Israel, “Let us send men before us, and let them search out the land for us,” we know just how bad it’s going to go for them. And it reminds me of what happened a year before when God first tried to invite them to
come near to Him on Mount Sinai – and they refused. It was supposed to be their wedding.
The story is in Deuteronomy 5:23-33 “So it was, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. And you said: “Surely Yehovah our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives. Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of Yehovah our God anymore, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?”
And so, they say to Moses: “You go near and hear all that Yehovah our God may say, and tell us all that Yehovah our God says to you, and we will hear and do it.’ And God said, They are right in all that they have spoken. Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! Go and say to them, “Return to your tents.” That’s the saddest verse in the Bible – you can hear God’s heart break – the ceremony ends – the bride goes one way, and the groom goes the other – the marriage is delayed for 1,500 years.
What is the issue that will forever haunt them? It was the first Pentecost. We know from the Pentecost 2,000 years ago what it was really about: The Holy Spirit. He’s called the Comforter. They refused the Father and were afraid of the One who had come to be their Comforter and Fear would ultimately destroy them.
Now, back to today 3,500 years ago. Numbers 13: All the people demand from Moses, “Let us send men before us, and let them search out the land for us,” And Moses said, “The plan pleased me well; So God said each tribe must supply their best man (a prince/leader) to spy out the land.”
I’ll be back in 40 Days on the 9th of Av to teach about the fallout of what happened when the spies returned. It’s really bad, and too much for today. Here is a quick preview:
Forty days later, on the eighth day of Av , the spies returned, bearing samples of the land’s huge fruit, along with some bad news: “We came to the land that you have sent us, and indeed it flows with milk and honey; this is its fruit. “However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very great; we also saw giants there. The Amalekites dwell in the Negev; the Hittites, the Jebusites and the Emorites in the hills; and the Canaanites at the sea and on the banks of the Jordan. [Giants North, Giants South, Giants East, and Giants West]. Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We cannot go up against these people, for they are mightier than we.” (Numbers 14)
The “Than we” is the Hebrew word [mimenu (mim-men-nu)] which also translates as “than He”. So the spies were saying, in effect, “the giants are mightier than us and mightier than Yehovah”. “And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants,
and all the people [not some but all] whom we saw in it are men of great stature… And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of Yehovah appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.”
Then God threatened to kill them all and Moses asked Him to forgive them, which He does. “Then Yehovah said: …‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness (Except for Caleb and Joshua.) “According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection…those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before Yehovah.”
What happened? Way back at the Red Sea, “And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.” Exodus 14:10. They never stopped being very afraid. “…it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians…” Exodus 14:12. They never believed that God was greater.
How would we handle 40 days in the land of the giants? Coming Up Next: we’re going to look at all those giants up close.
3 .The Roots of those Giant Trees
Today was the day the 12 Spies were Dispatched to search out the Promised Land.
One thing we all have in common is that we all have to continually face giants (challenges, battles, obstacles, fears, worries, memories, opponents, etc.) It’s important to discover what we’re facing.
God brings them to the border of the land He promised them, but they’re scared as always, and they still don’t trust God to take care of them. They want a firsthand report from someone they trust, so they ask to send out their leaders of their tribes. God knows their hearts, so He lets them send spies to scout out the Land of Canaan. Moses tells them: “You shall see what [kind of] land it is, and the people who inhabit it; are they strong or weak? Are there few or many? And what of the land they inhabit? Is it good or bad?
And what of the cities in which they reside—are they in camps or in fortresses? What is the soil like is it fat or lean? Are there any trees in it or not? You shall be courageous and take from the fruit of the land.”
Now put yourself in their sandals. You are visiting a land Abraham, Isaac, Jacob settled in which God promised would be yours forever. Your job (12 of you) is to scout out the land. You’re sleeping in tents or just on the ground. You’re trying not to be noticed, so probably no fires and cold food, because everywhere you go there are giants.
Let’s step back a second. How did a land full of giants happen?
Revelation 12 tells us, “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.” “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” And we know that was 1/3 of the total angels.
Satan sought the throne, and left his place and calling, to try to take it. When there was “war in heaven”, it was between angels who were all eternal – they couldn’t die. The swords they held weren’t for stabbing to cause bleeding. Stabbing eternal creatures would be pointless. Since Jesus is described in Revelation as having a sword coming out of His mouth, the war here is the tongue or words, a war of lies versus truth intended to spiritually kill. It was obedience versus falling.
When God cast the fallen angels out of heaven, they didn’t have physical forms/bodies, so they are continually in search of “homes”. Matthew 12 tells us, “When an evil spirit comes out of a person, it goes through dry places looking for a place to rest. But it doesn’t find any. Then it says, ‘I’ll go back to the home I left…Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself. They enter and take up permanent residence there. In the end the condition of that person is worse than it was before.” And of course, they make terrible house guests because, “Satan comes only to “kill, steal and destroy”. And the war in heaven came to God’s children, “I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers…”
At the time of the Flood Genesis 6 tells us, “The Nephilim [nāp̄îl – giants / fallen or mighty ones / cast down] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then Yehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…So Yehovah said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” So, Jesus told us that angels don’t procreate with each other in heaven, but the fallen ones mixed with early man and had children, who were mighty (or giants – very big and very strong). And eventually everyone on the earth was wicked.
Amos 2 tells us, “Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was as strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath.” Deuteronomy 2 reveals that the Emim, (which likely means “terrors”) were giants: “The Emim had dwelt there in Moab in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim.” And Ezekiel 28:19 describes them as horrors, “All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, and shall be no more forever.”
In Genesis 15:13-16 God shows Abraham the distant future, “Then Yehovah said to him, “Know for certain that for 400 years your descendants will be enslaved and mistreated. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”
In Jude and 2 Peter, we see what happened to some of the fallen angels: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day”;
In Mark, in the story of the demoniac, the demon we know as “legion” asks not to be tormented or thrown out of the country. He doesn’t want to be judged like those angels and cast into outer darkness. What are these demons so afraid of?
Scientists who deny God’s existence or that He created the world believe that the universe goes on forever, and stars are millions of light years away. But God never said that. He did create this world, it just doesn’t go on forever. And one day He will wrap it all up like a scroll and replace it.
One simple way of looking at it is: At the edge of His creation, the universe curves back on itself which causes light from the stars to bounce back (meaning no star is more than 6,000 light years away). This understanding is sometimes called a white hole. With that in mind, beyond creation is nothing, just darkness, henceforth the name “outer darkness”. No light, no order, no love, no rules of creation, no ability to function. It’s uncreated space – darkness. It’s torment and the perfect prison. And these fallen angels are not anxious to go there any earlier than necessary.
4. What is a Canaanite?
Today was the day the 12 Spies were Dispatched to search out the Promised Land (which was called the land of Canaan). We know these things: There was war in heaven; 1/3 of the angels and their leader were cast to earth; somehow, they were able to mix with man and have children who were giants (Genesis 6). Everyone but Noah and his family were killed in the flood (including all the giants).
But then 500 years later Israel refused to enter the land because of more giants. Moses called part of the Promised Land the “land of the Giants”. Joshua and Caleb conquered many tribes of giants. Where do these new tribes of giants come from and how do they end up in Canaan?
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of Yehovah…Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence…for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.” Only Noah stood out, and he had three sons. So, God sent the flood and destroyed everyone – man and giants.
Gen 9, “Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah…And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.
But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren.”
So that is a bizarre story, and almost impossible to understand in English, without understanding Hebrew idioms or what happened in the future. This is such a horrible story, I’m going to try to skate gingerly over it, so I don’t have to be overt, so focus for a minute. The world was wicked and not worth saving except for Noah, but God also saved Noah’s wife and kids who had lived in all that wickedness for about one-hundred years.
One of his sons, Ham, had soaked up that wickedness. The flood ended, Noah planted a vineyard (they exited the ark around Passover) and he made wine (the harvest season was around Pentecost and it takes a few weeks to ferment) so it was the middle of summer and very hot.
In English it sounds like Noah got drunk and was naked in his tent and woke up and he cursed his son Ham’s unborn son (his grandson) Canaan. That really doesn’t make any sense.
The key phrases here are: “and became uncovered” and “saw the nakedness of his father”. Moses wrote in Leviticus 20:11, “The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness.” That is an idiom throughout the scriptures.
And elsewhere in Leviticus 18:8 it says, “The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness.”
And a second issue from Habakkuk 2:15,
“Looking on” and “uncovering nakedness” are common idioms throughout the scriptures. So, what it’s saying is Ham violated his mother, and there was a baby on the way as a result. So, Noah’s wife is the one who will bear her son’s child, Canaan. Horrible! So, if we said this in English, we would say that Noah’s wife needed to be covered up. And secondly, it’s probably saying that Ham got his father drunk to commit this abomination.
There’s more (It’s subtle, but if you notice), Canaan is listed in the primary lineage of Noah, but it repeatedly says Ham is the father. “Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan.” So, this wording stands out because Shem, Ham, and Japheth had many sons, but only Canaan is mentioned in this way.
And Ham told Shem and Japheth what he had done, possibly to brag, but they took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered their mother. Noah sobered up and was told what his younger son had done, and after he learned of the pregnancy pronounced a curse on Ham’s lineage, specifically Canaan. And just like before the Flood, the giants are about to make a return.
What is a Canaanite?
We know that the Ark landed in the mountains of what today is called Turkey. And the Table of Nations in Genesis 10 tells us a lot: Ham and Canaan went south and settled the land that would be called Canaan; they also settled Egypt and upper Africa.
Canaan’s grandson is Nimrod; “he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh.” It also lists the Philistines in his lineage.
Canaan begot Sidon (city on north shore of Israel) his firstborn, and Heth (the Hittites); the Jebusite (Jerusalem), the Amorite [they are called “towering figures whose height was like the height of the cedars, and who was as strong as the oaks” [giants], and the Girgashite; the Hivite [where Jezebel would come from], and lots of other “ites”. “The border of the Canaanites was from Sidon…as far as Gaza (entire shoreline of Israel); then as you go toward Sodom, Gomorrah…as far as Lasha (the lands east of the Jordan River).
Notice all the countries who perpetually conquered and/or enslaved Israel: Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt.
Remember the curse? “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren.”
Abraham was alive not long after Noah, so almost immediately God sends him to claim most of the land that Canaan is settling.
So, consider these Canaanites: their physical bloodline is Canaan and Ham. Their spiritual bloodline is fallen angels.
5 .What Is Your Name?
Today was the day the 12 Spies were Dispatched to Search Out the Promised Land.
We all continually face giants; our giants may even be invisible. We’ve talked about a lot so far: At the time of the Flood Genesis 6 tells us, “The Nephilim [nāp̄îl – giants / fallen or mighty ones / cast down] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”
There’s little doubt that the Nephilim of the Old Testament were the inspiration for the characters we see in mythology, the great heroes and villains who are described as part god and part man (or demigods). Evidently, after God cast them down to earth they spun a few good lies because if you read mythology, you get their version of God, of heaven, of themselves, and why they were cast down to earth. The ancient Amorites were probably the forefathers of the Greeks and Romans who passed down the stories that we know as mythology.
In ancient Canaanite mythology, the morning star is personified as the god Attar, who attempted to occupy the throne of [Ba’al] and, finding he was unable to do so, descended and ruled the underworld. The Greek myth of Phaethon, a personification of the planet Jupiter, follows a similar pattern.
The Sumerians of Mesopotamia described an Amorite (the earliest giants) as one “who does not bend his knees (to cultivate the land), who eats raw meat, who has no house during his lifetime, and who is not buried after death.” In Number 13, the spies reported that “the land eats up its inhabitants”. Clearly, they saw a lot of unburied bodies, maybe a plague; it was something that stood out.
It’s believed that the land of Eden was the same land and dimensions as the Promised Land, and the Garden was in the vicinity of ancient Jerusalem. It would seem like when the fallen angels were cast down, they settled further up north of the Garden in a land called Bashan. In Deuteronomy 3:13 Moses tells us, “The kingdom of Og… with all Bashan, was called the land of the giants.”
When God cast the fallen angels out of heaven, they didn’t have physical forms/bodies, so they are continually in search of “homes”.
Matthew 12 tells us, “When an evil spirit comes out of a person, it goes through dry places looking for a place to rest. But it doesn’t find any. Then it says, ‘I’ll go back to the home I left…”
In New Testament times, Bashan was called Decapolis and Arabia; it was on a road in the region that Saul became Paul and then after salvation returned there be alone with God for several years. Part of the Decapolis region sat across the Sea of Galilee (it’s what you see from your hotel when you stay in Tiberius and look across the water).
In Mark 5, Jesus and His disciples arrived on that shore and encountered some of those ancient fallen ones, “Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit…And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones….and no one could bind him, not even with chains.” So, Jesus and the disciples got out of the boat and “immediately” a demonized man who breaks every chain used on him is the welcoming party.
“When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him.” The demons in this man make him too strong to bind; they’re inside but screaming on the outside and making him cut himself so he’s all bloody, and scabby, and dirty, and smelly. In an instant, the demons screaming loudly in this tormented man, charged at the visitors ready to terrorize the men. But when they got close to Jesus suddenly their power drained away, and their human host fell down at the feet of Jesus and worshiped him. And this beach is really small with burial caves and it’s all downhill to the water. This all happened in seconds. It’s a strange story already.
“And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” Suddenly the demons are screaming for a different reason. They look into the eyes of their creator and now they’re terrorized. Jesus says, “come out” and the strongman of the demons says,
“I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” Now that is a strange reaction for a demon, “Do not torment me.”
He’s begging “By God”, meaning he thinks he has the right to bargain. And surprisingly Jesus chats with him some more.
“Then He asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many. Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.”
I’m sure I had read that passage hundreds of times through the years, but after spending so much time in Bashan, while considering its demonic history, this story caused me to pause. Jesus asked the demon strongman what his name was. I’ve noticed through the years that often people doing deliverance ask demons their name, probably based on this scripture. And I also discovered that demons are liars, so talking to them is pretty pointless.
So, why did Jesus ask the question?
6. Losing Your Name?
Today was the day the 12 Spies were Dispatched to Search Out the Promised Land.
They did it out of fear of the giants; the same reason they would refuse to enter the Promised Land 40 days later. So, we are talking about Facing Our Giants. We were talking about the demonized man who answered the question of “What is your name”, with “Legion, for we are many”, which is definitely not a name. Jesus named him when He made him. He knows his name and all of their thousands of names. So, this question and answer really stood out. First, a legion is about 7,000 warriors; that’s a lot of demons inside this poor guy, but it’s not an answer to the question.
It’s not the name that God gave the strongman or any of the demons at creation. It was not “his name”. In heaven your Name is who you are. And it was Jesus who had created these angels and named them before their fall, so He already knew what He had named them. So, why did Jesus ask the question? Think about that. There was a subtle war taking place that we miss in this story. I think Jesus was making a very profound point. These fallen angels no longer had names. Their names were taken from them when they fell and were cast down to earth. Their only identity lay in what they had done. The strongman who is speaking for the rest of the demons responds as best he can to an impossible question, “Legion; for we are many.”
Keep in mind, Yeshua Jesus is the Commander of the Armies of Yehovah and oversees Michael who “cast to the earth [the dragon] and his angels…with him.” These demons are one of the former heavenly legions that Jesus cast down and they had remained together four thousand years, through countless hosts.
They had no names, and what was left of their identity was a foggy shadow of war. They “were angels” [mal’āḵ], ambassadors sent to do the will of the Living God Yehovah. But they stopped being sent, stopped representing God, stopping doing His will.
They sought His throne which they never could have taken or have been able to function on. When He cast them down, by default, their purpose (names) fell away too. So, now they were fighting to defend a lie that they believed which literally had killed them spiritually, stole their purpose, and destroyed their eternity.
When one-third of the angels were cast out of heaven, it appears that they lost their names when they lost their station, their destiny, and their purpose. So, recently as I was studying the Hebrew word [śātān], which is almost always capitalized in our English language bibles, I asked myself should it be? Are we restoring something God removed?
We have come to think of the devil as named Lucifer based mostly on Jerome’s late 4th Century Latin Vulgate translation of Isaiah 14:12, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” Jerome translated [hêlēl ben šāḥar] using the uncapitalized word “lucifer”.
It means “the morning star” (the planet Venus in its morning aspect), “shining one”, or “light-bringing”. It’s not capitalized in the Vulgate, but since it was the name of a planet and therefore a proper noun, it is capitalized in English as “Lucifer”.
So, generations think of Lucifer as his name.
The one called Hêlēl was created by God to be in one of the highest orders of angelic beings, a cherub. Ezekiel described them as having two pairs of wings and four faces and are associated with covering and worshiping Yehovah. Ezekiel 28:14 tell us that, prior to his rebellion, Hêlēl was the “anointed cherub that covers” [kᵊrûḇ mim-šaḥ has·sō·w·ḵêḵ]. That phrase describes angels with outstretched wings protecting something (like a shield wall that covers the front, sides and above like a turtle shell.)
Ezekiel 28:21 says, “Son of man, set your face against Sidon and prophesy against her.” Sidon was the first born of Canaan. Another reminded that the source of all of this evil was Ham and Canaan. Cherubim were the guardians of Eden with flaming swords; they surround God’s throne; and were positioned on both sides of the Ark of the Covenant with wings that stretched over and covered the mercy seat. They were close to the throne of God, yet that honored station didn’t satisfy Hêlēl. He desired much more, to be equal with his creator.
The book of Job is the first to use the word “satan” which our English translations capitalize as Satan. The word is a transliteration of the Hebrew [śātān], which is the word for “adversary”; one who “withstands”; and “accuser.” So, it’s really an epithet, not a personal name. Often, it’s written “a satan” or “the satan”. The word [śātān] is also used when God becomes an adversary; when a man (it was used for David) or a group of men becomes an adversary; So, it’s not exclusive to a fallen cherub or fallen angels in general.
The Greek word for [śātān] is diábolos (also meaning “false accuser” or “slanderer”) which is transliterated into English as Devil. Ironically, most translations don’t usually capitalize devil, but do capitalize Satan. We can call him Satan or the Devil as if it’s his name, which is correct English grammar, but why give him a proper name?
Zechariah 3:1-2 tells us, “Then he showed me Yehoshua the high priest standing before the Angel of Yehovah, and Satan [śātān] standing at his right hand to oppose him. And Yehovah said to Satan [śātān], “Yehovah rebuke you, Satan [śātān]! Yehovah who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”” He deserves “a lower s” on satan.
Only Yeshua Jesus, “humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
7. A New Name
Today was the day the 12 Spies were Dispatched to Search Out the Promised Land.
They did it out of fear of the giants; the same reason they would refuse to enter the Promised Land 40 days later. So, we are talking about Facing Our Giants. The word Jesus is a Latin and American transliteration of Yeshua. Where Did the Name Yeshua Come From?
Today, 3,500 years ago, the name of our Savior was first created by God. At the edge of the Promised Land, the 12 tribes were told to each choose a Tribal Prince who would spy out the Land. The Tribe of Ephraim chose Hoshea – who had been Moses’ right hand man in the journey.
Hoshea (Ho-shay-ah) means Salvation. The Root of his name is: Yāšaʿ (yaw-shaw) which means to save or be saved.
The other 11 Princes chosen as spies were welcomed and made ready – that’s all.
But Moses immediately changes Hoshea’s name. Numbers 13:16 “These are the names of the men whom Moses has sent to spy the land. Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Yehoshua.” Almost every English Language version translates his name as immediately becoming Joshua (Yeshua). But that shortened name wouldn’t be used for over 1,000 years.
To create the new name Yehoshua, Moses took: The root of his name, Yāšaʿ; With the name of God, Yehovah; Which created: Yehoshua. Yehoshua means Yehovah is Salvation. English Bibles translate it “the LORD is salvation” which eliminates the presence of Yehovah’s connection to the name.
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You [The Father Yehovah], the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent…”. Yehoshua was the first person to bear the name of Yehovah within his name. Jeremiah 23:6 says that YHWH will be the name of the Messiah. “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called: ‘Yehovah is our righteousness.’” From 538 BC – 70 AD a shortened version of the name Yehoshua became the common form: Yeshua.
Yeshua was the 5th most popular name at the time of Jesus (tied with El’azar (Lazarus).
Yochanan (John) was 1st; Yehudah (Judah or Judas) was 2nd; Yosef (Joseph) was 3rd. Shim’on (Simon) was 4th.
The 3 most popular names for births 1921-2020 are James, Robert, John, Michael, William, and David.
But By 70 A.D., it was so connected to Jesus that the Jews went back to Jehoshua to avoid any connections to the name and the Messiah. So, the Jewish leaders rejected their Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). And within a generation or two they stopped speaking the name of the Father, and now for nearly 2,000 years forbid each other to speak His name.
It becomes sadly ironic when you read John 14:6-7 “Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life! No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” It’s a serious thing to mess around with God’s name. Once you start, it’s hard to stop.
Yeshua Has Become Yeshu to the Jews
Yeshua was very common all the way up to the Bar Kokhba revolt. Several of his followers were named Yeshua. But after that revolt, and the Roman punishment, the name of Yehoshua returned to use and popularity and Yeshua pretty much disappeared. Most likely because it was so clearly identified with Yeshua (Jesus). You can still find Yehoshua’s today, but good luck finding a Yeshua.
There is a lot of Hebrew refutation literature, to make sure Jews don’t discover Yeshua (Jesus), or if they do to make sure they don’t uncover the reality that He is the Messiah. Since the Holocaust, Jews see Christians very negatively because their oppressors were from Europe which was full of Protestants and Catholics. To them: followers of Jesus – (which by their actions they proved that they were not.)
To eliminate any association between the name Yeshua and the Messiah, Jews in Israel and Jews in general, dropped the “ah” from Yeshua and call Him Yeshu. This last letter (ah) is called an “Ayin” (ע), which, rather interestingly, means “eye”. They removed their ability to see their Messiah, yet again.
His full name in secular Hebrew is Yeshu Ha-Notzri. “Notzri” is the Hebrew word for “Christian”, it actually means one from Nazareth (Natzeret). Yeshu Ha-Notzri means Jesus the Nazarene or Jesus the Christian. To the Israeli in the street, Yeshu is the name of the founder of Christianity. They don’t see Him as a Jew, in any way. Ironically, today, 3,500 years ago, the name of our Savior was first created by God at the edge of the Promised Land for one of the only two former slaves who would inherit it.
8. Replacing A Name
Today was the day the 12 Spies were Dispatched to Search Out the Promised Land.
40 days later they would refuse to enter the Promised Land because of the fear of giants. So, we are talking about Facing Our Giants. We just talked how the name Jesus, which is a transliteration of Yeshua, was first created by God at the edge of the Promised Land today, 3,500 years ago, when the name of Hoshea, which means Salvation, was changed to Yehoshua which means Yehovah is Salvation.
English Bibles translate the name as Joshua and the meaning as “the LORD is salvation” which eliminates the presence of Yehovah’s connection to the name. Is that a big deal? John 17:3 says, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You [The Father Yehovah], the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent…”.
Ironically, two days ago on Sivan 27, in 138 A.D. (1884 years ago), Roman Emperor Hadrian banned the speaking of the name Yehovah after he sent 10 legions to defeat the Jews who were part of the Bar Kokhba revolt. Ultimately that’s why so many of us think The Father’s Name is the “LORD”. In Hebrew Manuscripts, The Name of God the Father is present 6,828 Times.
That’s an average of 7 times per page. It’s rather impossible to miss.
In Hebrew, the Name of God is the Letters – Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey.
When we transliterate those letters into English, it’s the capital letters YHVH or YHWH,
It’s called the Tetragrammaton, (which means “The Four Letters”).
But in almost all our English Bibles, you won’t see the Hebrew Letters or the Tetragrammaton.
All, or almost all, of the 6,828 Times God’s Name Appears, they replace it with the title, The LORD, in all capital letters. The Preface To our Bibles even tell us this. There are a few exceptions. You may see Jehovah a few times, but not 6,828 times.
God tells us in a lot of verses to specifically “Call On”, “Make Mention”, and “Proclaim” His Name; NOT any of His titles, including Lord. But when His name is replaced with a Title, then the translated verses tell us to “Call On”, “Make Mention”, And “Exalt” His Title. Isaiah 12:4 “On that day you will say, “Give thanks to the LORD [Yehovah]! Call on His name! Make his deeds known among the peoples, declare how exalted is his name.”
Exodus 3:15 “Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel [יְהוָה] Yehovah… [וַיֹּאמֶר עוֹד אֱלֹהִים אֶל־מֹשֶׁה כֹּֽה־תֹאמַר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם אֱלֹהֵי שְּׁמִי לְעֹלָם וְזֶה זִכְרִי לְדֹר דאַבְרָהָם אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק וֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם זֶה־ֹּֽר ׃].
In the original Hebrew it’s His name – But in our Bibles they Replace His Name with the Title “The Lord”.
“…God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever; this is how I am to be remembered generation after generation.” In Our Bibles – Not Even a Hint – That He Has a Name – Except “I Am”.
When God appeared to Israel on Mt Sinai, there was thunder and shofars and fire, and then the first three words He said were, “Anokhi [Ann-oh-hee] Yehovah Elohekha [el-oh-eck-ah].” “I am Yehovah, your God.” Exodus 20:2
Exodus 20:24 “In every place where I cause my name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you.” (most English versions translate it as, “where I record My name”). It’s zāḵar [zaw-kar’] it means remember or to be brought to remembrance and it means mention.
So why isn’t God’s Name in our English Bibles? Why did the Jews stop proclaiming the name of Yehovah?
What Happened? The Jews were continually revolting against Rome. Their last war was the Bar Kokhba revolt that ended very badly in 138 A.D. Emperor Hadrian banned the Speaking of the Name, the Mosaic Law, Judaism, and even circumcision. Jews were expelled from Jerusalem and forbidden to live within ten miles of the city.
Many rabbis wouldn’t dream of NOT speaking the name of Yehovah, so it wasn’t very many days until that law was tested. Two days ago, on the 27th of Sivan was the anniversary of that test when Rabbi Hananiah Ben Teradion became one of ten martyrs executed on the same day by the emperor Hadrian.
According to the Talmud, it was because Hananiah was teaching from a Torah Scroll in public and whenever he came upon the name, Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey, he proclaimed the name out loud, “Yehovah.” “So, the Romans wrapped Hananiah in that Torah scroll and burned him at the stake (in a very brutal fashion).
His last words as he burned were from Deuteronomy 32: “For I will proclaim the name of Yehovah: Ascribe greatness unto our God. The Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice: A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He.”
The Rabbinic Sanhedrin decided that they would rather obey than die, so, they ruled that the Rabbis would stop speaking the name of God out loud. They still follow that today even without the threat of death from Rome, and they read the stories of the Ten Martyrs every year on Tisha B’Av.
Meanwhile, the Orthodox Jews claim the tradition of not speaking the name is based on the Third Commandment, “You Shall Not Take His Name In Vain.” They have declared that, Just Saying His Name, Is Taking It In Vain.
So, when it came time for English language translation of the Bible, they turned to the Rabbis for Hebrew standards and instruction. And they taught them to stumble over the same stumbling block they were tripping over – You don’t use the name of God – You replace it – You refer to it.
Mark 7:13 says, “You nullify (make the word of God of no effect – or powerless) through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
For the last 500 years, since the Bible was first translated into English by William Tyndale, almost every translator and Bible Publisher has chosen to not translate the name of God from Hebrew into English and has used LORD instead.
9. Giant Killers
Today was the day the 12 Spies were Dispatched to Search Out the Promised Land.
40 days later they would refuse to enter the Promised Land because of the fear of giants. So, today we are talking about Facing Our Giants. Eventually, after a 40 year wait, their children would enter in and kill those giants with God’s help. When we hear the word “giant”, we probably think of David and Goliath, but few people actually know the real history because it’s generally lost in translation from the original Hebrew.
First let’s get our bearing. David lived about 500 years after the time of Moses, when Caleb and Joshua crossed the Jordan River and led the next generation of Israelites into the Promised Land. They defeated all the Canaanite tribes when God and a host of angels showered rocks onto the heads of the giants of Hebron, who were called Anakites. Our English translations describe it like this in Joshua 10:11, “the LORD [Yehovah] cast down large hailstones from heaven on them…There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword…Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak from there.”
There wouldn’t be another giant killer in Israel until a young shepherd boy stood in a nearby valley about fifteen miles away. You can easily see Hebron from the Valley of Elah which is split in two by a brook. The stones in this brook were washed down from a place called Migdal Oz (long o, not like the Wizard of Oz). The place and its name are crucial to the story and come from Proverbs 18:10, “The name of Yehovah is a [Migdal Oz] “strong tower” the righteous runs into it and is safe.”
Did you catch that? The very stones that David used as his weapon of choice came from a place called, “the name of Yehovah…”. If you pay attention to the words he spoke to Goliath, it’s rather obvious that David was being very intentional. The name of Yehovah is not just part of the story – it’s central to the story.
In 1 Samuel 17, Israel and the Philistines were camped on two hilltops and every day for 40 days, the giant Goliath had been taunting them to fight him. David volunteered and packed “five smooth stones from the brook” in his pouch and carried his staff and sling in his hands.
“And he drew near to the Philistine…” who was offended at the idea of facing a small shepherd boy with a sling instead of a great warrior. “And the Philistine called on his gods [elohim] to curse David. “Come on,” the Philistine told David, “and I’ll give your body to the birds.” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a shield.
“But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts [the name of Yehovah Tsebaoth (or Yehovah of Hosts)], the God of the Armies of Israel, [the Elohim of the Armies of Israel] whom you have defied.” “This day the Lord [Yehovah] will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you…Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord [Yehovah] does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s [Yehovah’s], and He will give you into our hands.”
There are several things to notice in the story. The Hebrew language is made up of symbols not letters, so none of the words (like elohim) are capitalized to show that they refer to the real God, as opposed the gods of the heathen. Until God revealed His name, “Yehovah” to Moses, the names El and/or Elohim were the most common ancient words for an idol or a god (the Real One and all the false ones).
So, Goliath used elohim to refer to his gods, and David used the same word to refer to the real God. If David read his words from our English language bible where we insert LORD (Adonai), it would have had a similar effect. Lord is a title referring to God or gods. But David knew his God by name, and he made a point to use that name to describe Him. Without the actual name of Yehovah in the text, this story is missing one of the main storylines.
Goliath, holding his massive weapons, threatened to kill David, and feed his body to the birds. But David responded that he was “coming in the NAME of Yehovah Tsebaoth.” There are two things lost in translation here. First, God has a lot of titles but only one name, Yehovah which means, “The God who was, and is, and will continue to be”.
So, David’s words are brave. He is saying, “you are not facing me or some man-made elohim, you’re facing the Living God who will not lose or die today; and I’m confident of the outcome because He always was, and is God right now, and will continue to be God long after this battle.”
Secondly, David used a very specific version of God’s name, “Yehovah Tsebaoth, the Elohim of the Armies of Israel, whom you have defied…” which could be translated as “God’s angel armies.” He’s saying this in the shadow of Hebron, where 500 years earlier Yehovah and an army of angels cast down large hailstones from heaven on Goliath’s ancestors, the Anakites, and destroyed them as Caleb and Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan. David’s saying, “you see a shepherd, but you don’t see my God or His angel armies, just like your ancestors didn’t see them.”
And then David added some important details of why he wasn’t fighting with a sword or spear, “the LORD [Yehovah] does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is Yehovah’s.” David essentially said, “We won’t need weapons today; we have the Name of our God.”
The Anakites were not defeated by an army of warriors with swords or spears all those years ago. They were destroyed by a group of young people and by stones thrown by a God named Yehovah. And that history lesson was updated that very day.
The stone sailed from the young boy’s sling and the giant fell; the boy took the giant’s sword and chopped off the giant’s head. “When the Philistines saw their hero had been killed, they fled. Then the soldiers of Israel and Judah rose up, shouted a battle cry, and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and to the gates of Ekron.”
Why did the Philistines flee? They had plenty of other giants and more than enough weapons, while the Israelites had only tools to fight with, no weapons. Still, they fled because a boy killed a giant with a stone. And because their history was screaming at them: young people, rocks, giants killed, armies destroyed by angels and the God of the Israelites. Elah was beginning to look too much like the beginning of the Anakite’s defeat long ago. They had no desire to see their ancient history visited upon their heads.
10. Always Take a Dog
While we’re in the Valley of Elah, near Hebron, three thousand years ago with David and Goliath, the name Yehovah wasn’t the only name on both the boy’s mind and the mind of Goliath. The massive man-beast taunted the brave boy carrying his shepherd’s staff, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?”
If it had been a modern movie, I’m sure David would have quipped, “No, today I am the dog.” Perhaps I should explain. The word is a bit lost in translation to English, but the very ground the giant and David stood upon was conquered by another warrior from David’s tribe, whose name meant dog.
Let’s head back in time five hundred years to the greatest giant killer in the history of Judah. His father named him Dog; technically it was “Wild or Mad Dog”, which in Hebrew is Kaleb or Caleb (that’s right – he was one of the 12 spies).
The word dog in Aramaic, which Goliath would have spoken, is Kalba, and has the same meaning. The first syllable of the Hebrew word means ‘like’; the second syllable means ‘heart’, so his name means ‘like the heart’. I find it ironic that Caleb had a faithful heart like a dog, a friend you can count on; and David’s name means friend and beloved.
Caleb wasn’t a likely hero. He was a fifth-generation slave, born in Egypt at a time when courage was rare. It’s not until we arrive at the border of the Promised Land and the tribe of Judah needs a courageous prince to represent them as one of the 12 spies that we finally meet the forty-year-old man named Caleb. He and Joshua were truly not like the other 10 men who were chosen by their tribes.
It’s hard to strap on their sandals and imagine the seven-week, one-thousand-mile journey they navigated through hostile territory filled with fierce tribes of Canaanite giants known for their evil and ferocity. The various tribes of giants controlled all the land in the deep south wilderness, and along the five-hundred-mile pathways that wound up through the far north mountains.
The spies were twelve small foreigners, trying not to be noticed, while walking, maybe cooking if they dared, and sleeping day after day and night after night, as they traveled the depth and breadth of the strange foreign land.
Every mile could have been their last. Sleep was probably rare, if at all. At least ten of the spies were living in absolute terror, longing for the days they could escape their nightmare journey. When they arrived back to safety, they breathed a deep sigh of relief that they were even still alive. Their one job was to discover strategic insights to prepare the land’s conquest and report back; but they had no intention of going back.
The report of the ten: “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants…” Joshua and Caleb insisted that the Lord was with them, but all of the people picked up stones to stone them. God put a stop to the stoning and the ten cowardly spies, “died by the plague before the Lord.” God condemned everyone “twenty years old and above” to wander the desert forty-years until they all died there.
I can’t help but wonder how the noble-hearted Caleb, Joshua, and Moses felt at the news of spending the next forty years in the desert. What was it like to obey God perfectly – to be full of faith and arrive at the moment you are supposed to receive your reward, only to be told “Not yet…come back later”?
Instead of inheriting the promises of God, you must spend the next forty years wandering in the desert, waiting for the last of the faithless to die, so you can bury the very ones who trampled your dream. Not only would they lose forty of the prime years of their lives, but the alternate route and strain would cost Moses his right to even enter the new land.
What made Caleb so different from the other spies? They all were probably rejoicing that God was giving them the land before them to inherit. But as they drew closer to Hebron, they knew the meaning of the word terror. Ten of the spies looked for a place to hide. But I think Caleb was staring at a place that he had heard about only in stories.
When Abraham came to the area over four-hundred years before, it was at Hebron that the Lord appeared to him for the first time and promised his descendants the Land of Canaan. Abraham made his home there and later buried his wife Sarah in a cave in Hebron. Both Isaac and Jacob lived in Hebron, and when Isaac and Rebecca died, they were buried in the cave.
Joseph traveled all the way from Egypt to bury his father Jacob there. When Joseph was near death, he asked his brethren to carry his bones from Egypt to Hebron when God delivered them. Caleb probably grieved the forty-year delay in accomplishing that.
Caleb knew immediately that the mountain graveyard was his desired inheritance. Even after waiting forty years, Caleb’s focus and pursuit of God’s promises filled his heart when talking to Joshua: “So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God…Just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day…And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb…as an inheritance.”
When Caleb and Joshua led their army to Hebron, they faced five Amorite kings and countless giants. Joshua 10 tells the story of the battle, “So Yehovah routed them before Israel, killed them with a great slaughter at Gibeon…Yehovah cast down large hailstones from heaven on them…There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword.”
The faithlessness of the ten spies robbed them of ever seeing the mighty miracles that God had planned to destroy the giants that intimidated the former slaves. As for the eighty-five-year-old spy, “Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak from there.” And there wouldn’t be another giant killer until that young shepherd boy stood in the same valley.
So, how can we be more like Caleb and Joshua, and less like the other spies? We all face our giants. They are the battles we didn’t plan but can’t escape. Discouragement is dis-courage (the lack of courage). We are not aware that when we feel down that trying to find things to help us feel better won’t ever work because the devil has attacked our courage to stop us from moving forward.
To walk as Caleb walked, we must fix our eyes on destiny and dig the graves of our sorrows as practice for the day the promises become reality. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” A.W. Tozer expounded, “Faith is seeing the invisible, but not the nonexistent.”
Psalm 84:5 says, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.” We are never alone when walking with God. The victory and battle are not in our hands. Fear and doubt are the encouragement to refuse to trust God. If we choose fear, we lose. So, let’s set our minds on digging graves as we face our giants, until the promises of God become our inheritance.
I’ll be back in around 40 days to teach about “The 9th of Av”, which is the saddest day of the year for Israel and is part of a three-week period of mourning for all of the fall-out that came from rejecting Yehovah and refusing to trust and obey His word.