One of my favorite Bible characters is … drumroll, please … Caleb. Yes, I said Caleb.
The story of Caleb, a faithful man of God, begins in the book of Numbers. After being delivered from bondage in Egypt, the Israelites were led by God to the border of the land of Canaan, a land “flowing with milk and honey” that God had promised they would inherit (Exodus 3:8, 17). Moses had chosen twelve men, one from each tribe, to scout the land before entering.
Among them was Caleb, representing the tribe of Judah. The twelve men spied out the land for forty days and then came back to Moses. They reported that the land was indeed fruitful but its inhabitants were the mighty descendants of Anak. Terrified by the size and strength of the Canaanites, ten of the spies warned Moses not to enter Canaan (Numbers 13:23–33). (Farrar) The ten spies said they felt like “grasshoppers” in their own eyes compared to these mighty people.
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) I LOVE IT. Caleb stands up before Moses and says, “HUSH. STOP. WE ARE NOT GRASSHOPPERS! Not only should we not run away like little bugs, but we should also go and take this land RIGHT NOW!”
Yes, the inhabitants of the land were powerful, there was no denying it. What made the difference with Caleb as opposed to the other spies was not so much the size of the opposition BUT the presence of the Lord! One group of spies forgot about God, but Caleb did not. That was the difference-maker.
Life is full of hard and difficult obstacles. It is easy to feel like grasshoppers surrounded by giants. Cancer, marriage issues, a person gossiping about you, trying to find money to pay the bills. It is easy to think, “How will I ever overcome this?”
DO NOT FORGET, God is in control. He is aware and He loves you. He has not forgotten you or removed His presence from you. You are His. Caleb‘s hope was in the presence of God and it made all the difference. It conquered his fear and gave him strength and hope despite the reality of the opposition.
God, make me more like Caleb.
Pastor Brad Kirby