When Giants Stand On Your Promise And What It Takes to Get That Promise Back


Twelve spies, sent out by Moses, now stand on the soil of an eight hundred year covenant promise made by God to their father Abraham . A covenant promise declaring a nation and land from Abraham’s own offspring (Genesis 13:14-18). These spies are in Hebron, the very place where God encountered Abraham with His promise.

As these spies look at Hebron they literally are on the verge of making history. The long-awaited fulfillment of the covenant made so long ago is now at hand.

But there is a problem in Hebron. The city where the covenant promise is made and the place where the Patriarchs (Abraham, Sara, Isaac, Jacob, Rebekah and Leah) are buried, is now populated with warring giants from the descendants of Anak.

Num. 13:21-22 – “So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived…”

Giants stand on promises.

Turning Away From The Promise

This is the great covenant city, Hebron. A legendary city with a hallowed past.

All the spies have to do is believe that God can bring them into this land. All they have to do is believe that God can take care of this fortified city and the warring giants who stand on it.

These spies have seen the raw power of God, the Red Sea parting and provision from the earth and sky. With these God-wonders behind them and Hebron before them, surely they would have the faith to believe God could fulfill His promise.

But, shockingly, ten of the twelve spies choose to forfeit the eight hundred year promise. The people appear too strong and the giants too big. Not realizing that covenant costs and giants stand in places where promises are made, these spies give a faithless report.

Num. 13:28,31 “But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 31 …“We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”

The ten spies never enter the land that their feet are now under.

What God Promises, He Will Do

Caleb speaks up. He and Joshua were in the exact location, at the exact time, yet they saw things differently. They recognize the giants but believe God’s promise. The promise is bigger than the giants.

Somehow they understand a simple truth. What God promises, He fulfills. Nothing stands in His way.

A Generation Who Missed Their Divine Moment

Though Caleb admonished them to reconsider, to trust God, it was too late. The damage is done.

The hearts of the nation melts (Numbers 14:1). Their vision of a land flowing with milk and honey is now a sword leading to death.

Swiftly, the spies are killed, the people wander in the desert 40 years and the promise goes dormant.

This generation misses their moment in history, they forfeit their destiny and leave no legacy.

A Man Who Never Forgot His Mission

Now let’s fast-forward 45 years. Israel finally enters the promised land and Caleb approaches Joshua, Israel’s new leader. Caleb is older now (85), roughed up a bit, but burning with a memory.

He approaches Joshua with a request. First, Caleb reminds Joshua of the promise Moses made to him saying,

Joshua 14:9 “The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.”

And now it’s time for Caleb to cash in on that promise. It is time to gain honor for the Lord, the patriarchs of old and the covenant promise made some eight hundred years prior.

  1. Caleb never forgets Hebron. – Caleb does not forget God’s promise. He keeps it in front of Him.
  2. Caleb wants Hebron – Age nor prior mistakes keep Caleb from his pursuit. He did not wallow in missed opportunities, he uses them as a launching pad.
  3. Caleb asks for Hebron – Caleb comes under spiritual covering. Someone champions his effort.
  4. Caleb seizes Hebron – Caleb makes the effort to engage.
  5. Caleb defeats giants – Caleb knows that if God is with him, who can stop him, no matter how big the giants are.
  6. Caleb secures Hebron – Caleb occupies what he captures.

Josh. 14:11-14 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the LORD spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the LORD said.” 13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.

Josh. 15:14 “From Hebron Caleb drove out the three Anakites — Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai — descendants of Anak.”

Caleb is proof that Hebron (any Hebron) can be taken.

It All Comes Down To Choice

We all have a choice. We either believe what God says or cower to the giants that stand in the way.

Your Hebron will most likely have giants standing on it. These giants can be any number of things: fear, scarcity, insecurity and failure just to name a few.

But keep in mind, your Hebron is God’s promise to you. It’s the place where He encountered you, where He gave you purpose and birthed a vision. He will fulfill what He’s promised.

Refuse to cower to these giants. Refuse to be intimidated.

Be strong and be courageous.

Choose God. Choose faith. Believe.

Your Hebron stands waiting.

Ending Thoughts

1. Is this helpful? Love to get your thoughts on this. What are you learning about pursuing God’s promises in your own life? Do you think people give up on their promises/dreams too easily? Have you captured a promise from the Lord? Please let me know in the comments below

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8 years ago

excellent word…thanks for sharing

8 years ago

Wow what a great word. Powerful Greg.
I just realized that it was after 40 yrs since they spied the land. How did Caleb and Joshua handled the waiting period?

8 years ago
Reply to  andrewcala

Thanks for sharing this greg. Inspires me

8 years ago

Love the insight about Hebron, I’ve never caught that before. I don’t know if I can say I’ve captured a promise, but I’ve recognize when one is being fulfilled in my life. I just keep stepping towards my giants one step at a time. Every promise has a process!

Violet Orchid
8 years ago

Thanks for sharing this timely word which was “rhema” to me 🙂 I have been standing & believing the Lord for my “Hebron” for years (decades) and have often gotten faint of heart. There are moments when I am filled with faith that I will possess the Land & its promises – but more moments when I feel the impending crushing weight of a “giant” trying to smash my head with his heel. It is in these moments that I am grateful for the word of the Lord coming to me from precious saints like you. So I pray today… Read more »

8 years ago

Thanks for the article. I have been given a promise of promotion if I could acquire all the skills and accomplish the tasks using those skills required for the next job category. I am excited but also worried that I am not picking up the new skills fast enough and there are so many people around me who are more experienced in those skills. In short, I see giants in many ways. I need to focus my eyes on God and choose to believe He alone promotes and He can enable me to do all things through Christ who strengthens… Read more »

7 years ago

What caught my mind was the fact that Joshua and Caleb, although ready to take Hebron the first time, also suffered the 40 years in the dessert with the rest of the unbelievers. They weren’t exempt from that suffering. What comes to mind is that it might not only be the giants that keeps you from your promise but also people around you (friends, family, sometimes even fellow Christians), without the same vision that keeps you from your promise.

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