Devotional Readings

Grasshopper Complex

As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord (Numbers 14:21).

“The older I grow,” said Thomas Carlyle, “and now as I stand upon the brink of eternity, the more comes back to me this sentence from the catechism that I learned as a child, and the fuller and deeper its meaning becomes: ‘What is the chief end of man?–To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.'”

The children of Israel had refused to glorify God by listening to His voice. They believed the majority report of the committee of spies and planned to appoint a pro-Egyptian leader to take them back to the land of bondage. There were giants in the Land of Promise, and the Israelites were afraid of giants. The official report of the committee said, “We were in our own sight as grasshoppers” (Numbers 13:33). They had the grasshopper complex, and one is never so much like a grasshopper as when he feels like one.

Now, what about the march to the Promised Land? It seemed that the grasshopper men had ruined everything. God was about to destroy them, but Moses interceded for the backsliders. He reminded the Lord that all the unbelieving world was looking on and would say that God did not bring them into Canaan because He could not, that He was a limited God. And the Lord answered him, “I have pardoned according to thy word: but as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Numbers 14:20, 21).

So, friend, we may fail God, but God’s glory will not fail. Egypt, the desert, the hunger, the thirst, the endless marching, the Amalekites, the mixed multitude, the fiery serpents, the subversive report, the grasshopper men–yes, all of that and more! But the glory will come; the earth will be filled with it. Let us march on to the Land of Promise.

MEDITATION PRAYER: “Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee” (Psalm 17:7).


from The Promises of God
H.M.S. Richards | Review & Herald (2004)
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