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From The Stable To The Table
by Bro. Clifford Hurst
1101 North Union Road
Dayton, Ohio 45417
This week the U.S. will remember the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japanese seventy-five years ago on December 7, 1941. Almost four years later on September 2, 1945, the Japanese signed the papers of surrender on the deck of the Missouri anchored in Tokyo Bay. As with any scene in which he found himself, Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur had planned and rehearsed the event with photo optics and other things in mind. One of the other things was intimidation. Before the treaty's signing a call went out and a search was made for the eight tallest sailors to serve as the greeting party when the Japanese diplomatic contingency boarded the ship. The idea was that when the Japanese, who being Asian were already on average much shorter than the Americans, came on board, they would be towered over by the tallest of the sailors. Intimidation. This reminds me of something I read by an Old Testament archeologist/historian regarding the report of the spies Moses sent to scout out the Promise Land before the people entered it. On return ten of the twelve spies reported giants who were so tall the spies alongside them felt like grasshoppers and were sure that any giant who had seen them also looked down on them as grasshoppers. This scholar pointed out that this was a ploy of intimidation. The average height of a Canaanite at that time was from 5' to 5' 2". In the general populace of Canaan there were comparably very few giants. But, when faced with an opposing army, the Canaanite armies employed an optic trick much like MacArthur's. They conscripted or hired any giants they could and placed them in the front rank of the marching or attacking formations of their armies. Thus, when the enemy approached a large army of Canaanites and encountered the giants who made up only the very first rank of their formations, the enemy assumed that the whole army was made up of giants. They could never hope to defeat a whole army of giants. They fled. They had been intimidated. Satan attacks believers the same way. To intimidate a believer and impede his walk with God, Satan parades before him all his past sins, failures, weaknesses, struggles, etc.-all those things that are giants in a person's life. Discouragement, fear, doubt, and weakness overwhelms the believer until he is convinced that he cannot advance in his spiritual life but is doomed to fail. The mistake the spies made beyond fleeing at the sight of the first rows of giants and not sticking around to see that most of the army was made of much less formidable soldiers was this: They measured the giants alongside themselves. "Next to them we are like grasshoppers to be squashed underfoot." Instead of measuring the giants alongside their much shorter selves, they should have measured the giants alongside their God. When Satan parades out your past sin, measure it alongside the blood of Jesus. When he marches your weakness before you, measure it alongside the empowerment of the Spirit. When fear is attacking, look at it alongside the promises of the Word. The giant that is seeking to intimidate you will tremble in intimidation and defeat when over-towered and overpowered by your God.