October 2, 2022
Caleb's Secret Weapon
When I think about the great men of the Bible, Caleb is always one of the first that comes to mind. I think it is because I want my life to be like his in my later years. When the Israelite people had conquered the promised land and started dividing it up, Caleb stood tall at eighty-five years old and declared, “I call the mountains…with the giants!!!” Of course, those are my words, but that dude was hardcore!
What we read about in Joshua 14, actually started back under the leadership of Moses. Moses sent in twelve men to spy out the Promised Land. Caleb was one of them. They came back and reported on how amazing the land and its fruit were, but then ten of them went on and on about how powerful the people were that lived there and how big their city walls were. They even said, “Next to them we felt like grasshoppers.”(Numbers 13:33b, NLT) In the midst of this bad report is when we see Caleb’s secret weapon on full display.
Numbers 13:30 (NLT) says, “But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. ‘Let’s go at once to take the land,’ he said. ‘We can certainly conquer it!’”
As fear gripped everyone else, Caleb was bursting out of his skin to go and take the land. He wanted to go now! What was his secret weapon that allowed him to look past the fear and see the opportunity? It was FAITH. Not faith in himself, and not faith in a wandering community gripped by fear, but FAITH that God keeps His promises.
In Numbers 14, we see the people freaking out, even talking about getting a new leader and going back to Egypt. Along with Joshua (another spy), Caleb responded, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, He will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” (Numbers 14:7b-9, NLT)
The people wouldn’t listen to them and even wanted to kill Caleb and Joshua. When we trust in God as Caleb did, we don’t always get to see the difference it makes, but Israel became divided into two very distinct destinies as a result of that conversation. God punished the Israelites severely for their lack of faith and trust in Him by sending them back into the wilderness until every unbelieving adult was dead.
As for Caleb, along with Joshua, they were in the wilderness, too. They didn’t just survive the wilderness experience when all others died, but they created a legacy for their families. The families of Caleb and Joshua were the only ones that had a true patriarch going into the Promised Land.
When you have faith, it affects more than just you. When you consider Caleb’s story, faith was the difference between living out the rest of his life in a wilderness or getting to settle in the amazing land that God had promised him. The only bummer for Caleb is that he was an old man by the time he got HIS promised land. Or was it a bummer? Actually, it’s a miracle that should drive us all the more to have FAITH in God.
In Joshua 14, Caleb explains how he was forty years old when he went in to spy out the land, and he gave an “honest report,” even though his brothers shared a frightening report and swayed the people. For his part, Moses promised him that the land he walked on would be his.
Then he says this, “Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise - even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. (The giants live there…) But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.” (Joshua 14:10-12, NLT)
Caleb’s faith in God brought him through the wilderness and sustained him to be able to live out the promises of God that he had trusted all along. There is no evidence that his faith waned at all through the rough wilderness experience, and forty years is a long time! I’m sure he had some ups and downs, but Caleb was a man who truly trusted the Lord.
How about you, do you trust the Lord? When things are good? What about when times are challenging or downright brutal? In tough times, so many people abandon faith in God, but this is the time we actually need Him the most!
The key to building your faith is to make deposits every day by reading the Bible, praying, and putting other godly influences into your brain. If you keep making daily deposits, then you’ll be able to have faith when you need it most!
By: By Dan Courtney, Pastor
Today’s Scripture: “Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise - even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. (The giants live there…) But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.” (Joshua 14:10-12, NLT)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.