the grasshopper principle

“…we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” (Numbers 13:33)

This was the concluding argument from the 10 spies who believed it was impossible for the Israelites to successfully go into the Promised Land. Eventually, the children of Israel would concur and head back into the wilderness for another 38 years, just to eventually end up right back in the same spot.

The reason the Israelites did not get to enter into the land and enjoy all that God had for them wasn’t that they suffered a humiliating defeat. It wasn’t that they tried and just didn’t have the right strategy or military prowess. The issue was that the people who were inhabiting the land saw the Israelites as mere grasshoppers. But notice why their enemies saw them as grasshoppers.

Again, Numbers 13:33b, “…we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” (ESV)

The way they perceived themselves directly affected the way others perceived them.Screen shot 2013-06-21 at 8.40.23 PM

I refer to this as “the grasshopper principle” and it holds true for us as well. It can either work for you or against you. If you think of yourself as a “grasshopper” then you will begin to notice others seeing you that way as well. If you allow yourself to think “grasshopper thoughts” you will start to live a “grasshopper life.” And just like the Israelites in Numbers 13, that self perception alone is enough to prevent you from enjoying all that God has for you and all that He has called you to do and be. But, it could also enable you to be the man or woman you were made to be.

When our eyes are on ourselves we are limited to our own abilities and inabilities and it is easy to become discouraged and hard to believe we could ever do anything significant. But when a Christian begins to see themselves inline with the realities of who they are in Christ, then there is no challenge too great or obstacle too large. Our focus should not be on ourselves but on Jesus because “as he is so also are we in this world” (1 John 4:17), our lives are hidden in him (Col 3:3), it is no longer we who live, but Christ living in us (Gal 2:20) & in Christ we are more than conquerors (Rom 8:37).

Do others think little of you, doubt your ability, are convinced you will never amount to much or see you as a failure? It is possible that the cause of that perception is how you see yourself.

How would you like others to perceive you? How do you see yourself?

2 thoughts on “the grasshopper principle

  1. My brother…didn’t they say that they seemed like little grasshoppers because of the size of the Nephilim? Very large people?

    The Septuagint says

    “…and we were, compared to them, like locusts; and surely we appeared likewise before them.”

    Isn’t that just a “size” issue and not a self-esteem issue?

    Have a good day Luke nice to see you blog….

    1. No. It is not just a size issue. The spies did not sit down with the inhabitants of the land and ask, “So what do you think of us anyway?” They were not told “we see you as grasshoppers.” It was simply their own assumption that they were being perceived as mere grasshoppers (insignificant). The size issue would have remained the second time around (Joshua 2). The reality was that they were perceived not as harmless insects, but as a terrifying people, “…the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.” (Joshua 2:9)

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