At this time of year I am often reminded of the story of Caleb. During the days of Unleavened Bread we are reminded of Israel’s exodus from Egypt and slavery. Their joy, gratitude and praise are recorded in Exodus 15. But as their story continues we see a rebellious and unbelieving nation. A little over a year after their departure, the Israelites were encamped at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Paran. Twelve spies were sent into Canaan to spy out the land – their inheritance. They were able to see the land that God had promised to Abraham and his descendents. After forty days the spies returned with some fruit and a report of the land. Ten spies brought back a bad report of the land and disheartened their people. Once again, they were ready to turn back to Egypt. Two men Joshua and Caleb had a different attitude. They saw the same land and its inhabitants as the other ten spies, but they had a different perspective. Their perspective was, “The land (our inheritance) is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us” (Numbers 14:7-8).
God said of Caleb, “But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it” (Numbers 14:24). Caleb had a different spirit, his was a spirit of following God fully. In fact it is mentioned six times that Caleb followed God fully and therefore he received his inheritance. Do you have that same spirit that Caleb had? Can God say of you or me that he/she followed me fully?
Caleb had the faith to believe and obey God. It is interesting to consider that Caleb’s inheritance was Hebron, the city in which Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were buried. He knew that whatever God promised, He was able to bring about. Do you know that God will fulfill all His promises that He made to you? Do you know that God is able to give you His kingdom? Do you know that God is able to overcome any obstacle (giant) in your path to the kingdom? Our job is to follow Him fully on our spiritual journey to His kingdom.
Caleb did not allow the sins of his fellow Israelites to cause him to sin. God declared that all those above the age of twenty would die in the wilderness because of their unbelief and rebellion. He also said that their children would suffer for forty years in the wilderness because of their unfaithfulness. But Caleb was faithful. He saw his inheritance but had to wait forty-five years before obtaining it (Joshua 14:10). He suffered forty years because of their sins and yet we do not read of any bitterness or resentment on Caleb’s part.
Caleb was also a meek individual. Joshua and Caleb were to two faithful spies. They were representatives or princes of their tribes. They were peers. At the end of the forty years, Joshua was appointed leader of the Israelites. He was the successor to Moses. There is no mention of Caleb ever claiming any special position or questioning Joshua’s leadership.
God has given members of His church the same spirit that He gave Caleb. Let’s allow that spirit to lead us as we seek His kingdom. Because Caleb had a different spirit from the unbelieving Israelites, he was able to inherit part of the Promised Land. We have a different spirit from the world we live in and if we allow that spirit to lead us to follow God fully, we will inherit God’s kingdom.
I look forward to seeing you of you next month at the summer camp!