Today’s Reading: Joshua 14-16
Today’s Reflection: Joshua 14:12
“So now give me this hill country of which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the LORD said.”
Background: When Israel first came to the border of the Promised Land, they sent 12 spies to investigate the land. When they returned all agreed that Canaan was rich in natural resources, a land flowing with milk and honey. But 10 of the spies gave a bad report of the land, making Israel afraid of the powerful inhabitants of Canaan. Only two spies—Joshua and Caleb—gave a positive report, assuring Israel that God could easily overcome the mighty warriors and walled cities of the land. Unfortunately Israel agreed with the 10, and in judgment, God doomed the older generation to die out in the wilderness. He proclaimed that only Joshua and Caleb would live to see the Promised Land (Numbers 13 – 14).
40 years later, a new generation of Israel had risen, now led by the same Joshua to conquer the Promised Land. They had already won many great victories and settled parts of Canaan when Caleb makes a request of his old friend—let him and the tribe of Judah settle the hill country in Canaan.
Spoiling for a fight: What’s interesting about Caleb’s request is that at the time he made it the land was still occupied by the mighty people of Anakim—the very same giants who had put such fear in the hearts of the other 10 spies. By this time Caleb is 85 years old. He could easily have settled in an area already fought for and occupied by Israel. Instead he chose as his inheritance land he would STILL have to fight for.
Lesson: The lesson here is simply this: Real faith doesn’t ever rest. The same Caleb who was certain Israel could overcome the giant warriors of Canaan 40 years earlier had no problem believing God would deliver the hill country of the Anakim into his hands now. Caleb, whose name means ‘bold’, had learned something that eluded most of his generation of Israel. The God who loved them enough to free them from bondage in Egypt in spectacular fashion would never stop loving them. He would never let them face any challenge alone, and He would never ask them to step into battle without assuring them victory. All Israel needed to do was believe God loved them, that He was everything He said He was and that God would do everything He promised He would do.
Caleb knew God loved him that much and because of this he was bold enough to face anything God led Him to. So Caleb was given success beyond all imagining. If we follow his example we can be just as bold and as blessed too.