But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” – Numbers 13:30
“But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.” – Numbers 14:24
On Sunday, Jim opened up the Word and spoke about the failure of Israel. They were afraid to enter the land because of the negative report about the land. The 10 bad spies informed the Nation that there was no way they could take the land because the cities were too strong and it was filled with giants. However, two spies tried to tell Israel that God was with them and would fight the battles for them. Those two were Joshua and Caleb. Joshua gets a lot of attention in the Bible; he takes over for Moses and leads the Nation eventually on their conquest of the Promised Land. I want to look at the life of Caleb and what we learn from him. He is a small character in the story of Israel, but he makes a big impact.
We first hear of Caleb in Numbers 13, where he is introduced as one of the twelve spies. Scripture mentions that he is from the tribe of Judah (13:6). The tribe of Judah is probably the most famous tribe within all of Israel. It is from the tribe of Judah that the future kings of Israel will come, and Christ will ultimately come from this family line as well. Eventually when the Nation becomes two Nations, it is broken into Judah and Israel. But we will learn more about that later.
Caleb, along with Joshua, knew that God had promised this land to His people and that He would fight their battles for them and give them the land. But over and over the people refused to listen to them; at one point they even took up stones to try and kill Caleb and Joshua! They knew the truth but the people were unwilling to listen to them. So, Israel refuses to enter the Promised Land and it costs this generation their lives. The Nation will again wander in the desert for40 more years. Of this generation only Joshua and Caleb would enter the land, in the Book of Joshua. For his trust in God Caleb is rewarded with land for him and his descendants when they eventually enter the land.
Sometimes it is easier to go with the majority, to just agree with what is being said because you know if you speak against the majority it might cost you something. Caleb found himself in this type of situation. The 10 spies had made the people see the land as dangerous and impossible to conquer. Caleb was in the minority; he had truth on his side but the people were unwilling to listen. Truth is not decided by numbers, truth is God’s truth and it does not matter how many people are against it or against us as believers. We need to take the courage of Caleb and follow God wholeheartedly knowing that the truth is on our side. People will not like what we have to say, but we need to be loving as we express the truth of God. Israel did not listen and it cost them their lives. In the same way those who do not hear the truth of God will find eternal death away from God. Like Caleb, we need to be willing to silence the crowd and speak the truth, and God will reward those who stand up for him. I want to be like Caleb – do you?