Sunday, October 20, 2013

Caleb: Convictions Count

Caleb was one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to explore Canaan. He represented the tribe of Judah. When the spies returned, they, except Joshua and Caleb, gave a bad report about the land because they were afraid of the people ("of great size") they saw there. "Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, 'We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." (Numbers 13:30) "Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, 'The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.'" (Numbers 14:6-9)  Well, the Israelites weren't convinced (actually, they even talked about stoning Joshua and Caleb!) Because of the Israelites' unbelief, unfaithfulness, and disobedience, God made them wander through the wilderness for 40 years. "For forty years--one year for each of the forty days you explored the land--you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have Me against you." (Numbers 14:34)

"But because My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows Me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it." (Numbers 14:24)
"No one from this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly." (Deuteronomy 1:35-36)
Caleb definitely lived up to his name. The name Caleb in Hebrew ("Colev") means wholehearted, faithful, devotion. He followed and trusted God wholeheartedly. Caleb saw God's promises (that He made to Abraham 400 years earlier) while other spies saw giants. Caleb stepped up with faith while other spies backed out with fear. He did not fall under peer pressure or follow the crowd because he followed the Almighty God wholeheartedly. "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, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly." (Joshua 14:7-8) He stood firm in his convictions because he followed the one true God wholeheartedly. In fact, Caleb was mentioned in Joshua chapter 14 three times as one who followed the Lord wholeheartedly. That's what God wants from His children: to love, trust, follow, and serve Him wholeheartedly (with full, complete, undivided devotion). Poor Caleb had to wander through the wilderness for 40 years along with his generation who failed to trust the Lord. And then he waited another 5 years before he could receive the inheritance God had promised (Joshua 14:10). In spite of all the waiting (can you imagine waiting 45 years for something that's promised to be yours?!), Caleb continued to be steadfast in his faith and fix his eyes on God's promises. God not only sustained him but also strengthened him throughout those years. "So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out (at 40); I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then." (Joshua 14:10b-11) How many people could say that :)?

Don't let fear keep you from God's blessings. Stand out from the crowd; stand up for what you believe in! Stand on God's promises. Speak the truth in love boldly. Live with conviction and with no compromise. Follow God wholeheartedly and He will give you faith, courage, confidence, strength, stamina, vigor, patience, and perseverance.

This post is linked up with Faithful Friday @SimplyHelpingHim, Fellowship Fridays @Christian Mommy Blogger, Faith-filled Friday @Missional Women, Freedom Fridays @My Turn for Us,  Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty @The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates with God at The Wellspring, "Hear It, Use It", The Weekend Brew @My Freshly Brewed Life, and Inspire Me Monday @Create With Joy.


Bisi said...

Very beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

Joan said...

Well, I certainly needed to read this today! Thank you for such a timely post. And thank you for your unwavering commitment to the Lord. You are an inspiration :)

Anonymous said...

Stand on God's promises, yes!!

Coming over from hear it in Sunday

Gayle said...

I especially enjoyed this post. When my daughter was searching for a middle for her baby, I suggested Caleb. And now he is Jaxon Caleb. I pray he has this same heart towards God.

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