God does what He says He’s going to do. In Numbers 13, Yahweh tells Moses to send spies into the land that He is giving to the people of Israel. This is the land that had been promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and now God is bringing His people in to give it to them. The spies can’t deny the goodness of the land, but the ten are afraid of the giants and cause the people to fear. Caleb and Joshua try to rally the people to trust God, but they will have none of it. They want to choose a new leader to take them back to Egypt.
Later, when Joshua sends in the two spies, they find that the people in the land had more fear of God than the Israelites did. Rahab tells them, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt… And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.”
For forty years the people of Canaan had been living in fear of God’s people. Israel should not have been surprised. The promise of the land had been given long ago. But before that, God gave the promise that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent and had thoroughly backed it up in Egypt. They can kill giants and fight dragons because Christ is the giant killer and the dragon slayer. He is the one who binds the strong man and plunders him.
His disciples must learn the same thing. In Matthew 10, they are sent out with the message that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. They will face giants. They will face unbelief, persecution, trials, beatings, and death. But this very persecution uncovers and reveals; it brings secret things to light. This message brings a sword that divides those who believe from those who try stay hidden in the dark. It is life and hope and reward for all who receive it.