From Julia Schmidt:
Yesterday’s Bible reading was Numbers 13. It’s the story of the 12 spies checking out the Promised Land, a story I have read and thought through many times before. And since we’re going deeper and getting rooted this year at KHC, I decided to fire up blueletterbible.org and do some digging into the meanings of the names of the 12 spies, just to see what would jump out at me. With a little paraphrasing, but still sticking to the basic meanings of the names, here’s what I got:
Most of the spies who went into the Promised Land sounded like a pretty spiritual bunch – Famous, Judged, Redeemer, Deliverance, Salvation, God is my Fortune, God is my Kinsman and Majesty of God. They also had two Ninjas with them, which would be handy for spies. And, well, they had those other two guys, “I Exist” and “Dog Boy.”
But this looked like a pretty choice group of guys. Their Dads were a mixed bunch, however – God’s Gift and Like God must have been some awesome Dads. Mindful Guy was probably a good Dad too, as was Ready for Anything, and I’m sure Rich was the Dad everyone else wanted to have. Healed Guy probably went on and on about his story of being healed, but it was a good story, so that was okay. About half the spies, however, were probably hoping their Dads wouldn’t show up to see them off, and then no one would know that they came from Cave Dweller, Fish Guy, Camel Driver, Horse Guy, Less-Than Guy and What’s-His-Name.
And who ended up being the two who really got what God was saying? Out of all those promising names, who saw the Promised Land for the promise rather than the Giants? Salvation Guy, which seems appropriate… and Dog Boy. All the other high-sounding names, some of them from awesome-sounding families… they still didn’t get it. But Dog Boy did. Maybe because he was raised by Ready-For-Anything. And maybe he was called Dog Boy because of his tenacity, his dogged insistence to hold on until the end. Maybe that was what made him say, “Yeah, there are giants in the land, but God said it’s ours so it will be fine.”
So our parents gave us what they could, set us up for success the best they could. Some of them missed the mark and some had more to give than others. But in the end, it’s up to us to see what God has promised. We’re the ones on the front line, choosing to cross that Jordan and eat those grapes, or letting the giants blot out the light of the vision God has given us.
So let us grab hold of the Salvation He has given, and let us hold on to it like a Dog with a bone, refusing to let go.