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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

thoughts about Caleb...

This morning, I was reading through the book of Joshua. And as I finished up, I found myself thinking about Caleb. Caleb is one of those individuals from the Bible that we often don't think or talk too much about. But this morning, in my mind, he's a powerful character.

To give you a brief history lesson of who Caleb is, in case you're thinking "who?" When the Israelites were preparing to go into the promised land under Moses, he sent in 12 spies... one from each of the 12 tribes... to check out the land (Numbers 13). When the 12 spies came back, 10 of those spies reported (persuasively) that the people couldn't take the Promised Land, even though God had promised to deliver it to them. No one except Joshua and Caleb, the other two spies, stood up for following God. (Check out Numbers 13:30.)

The people, however, refused to listen and refused to trust God to lead them into the Promised Land and give them the inheritance that they were to be given. They rebelled... then they grumbled... then they threatened to stone Moses and Aaron... then they tried to take the Promised Land themselves only be driven back... Then they were driven out into the desert for 40 years until all of those unfaithful individuals died (Numbers 14:29). In fact, everyone over the age of 20 would die before they could enter the Promised Land under Joshua... even Moses.

Every one except Joshua... and Caleb.

Because Caleb was faithful, he was allowed to enter the Holy Land (Numbers 14:24).

Then we read this in Joshua...
6 Now the men of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, '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.'

10 "Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. (Joshua 14:6-11, NIV)

It got me thinking about a couple of things...

  • Caleb stood up for what was right... am I like that?
  • Caleb trusted God in the face of direct opposition (from within and from without) as a leader, am I like that?
  • Caleb remained faithful to God for 45 years waiting for the reward God had promised... am I patient like that?
  • Caleb stood up to friends and relatives knowing that it was to their peril but faithfulness toward God... am I like that?
I don't have any answers to these questions, just thoughts and questions. But I guess this morning, I got a little lesson from Caleb... someone we often don't talk too much about. His lesson this morning was: Lead, assured of God's direction in your life and remaining faithful to His call and knowing that He will give you your reward in His timing.

Just thinking with you...
Jim

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