A man with a different kind of spirit.
His unwavering faith kept him wholeheartedly devoted to God.
Although he was not born an Israelite, he was an Israelite indeed.
One of twelve, Caleb was chosen and sent by Moses as a chief spy to scout out the Promised land of Canaan. No matter what the land held, Moses encouraged them to still share what they would see and bring back some of the first ripe grapes of the land.
Upon their arrival, Caleb could see that land was pure and rich. Flowing with “Milk and Honey.” Valley upon valley, the promised land was sure to be a large inheritance.
But the spies soon would see that it was the descendants of Anak who resided in the lands. They were giants. Strong and very powerful. And intimidation started to sink in.
But Caleb, he saw something different. He saw God’s promise.
As the spies arrived into the valley of Eshcol, the fruit they saw growing was vast. When they went to cut down a single cluster of grapes to bring it home, it was so heavy it had to be carried back on a pole between two of the spies.
After 40 days, the spies returned home and shared with their congregation as to what they had seen in the land. They all had agreed on the richness of the land, but 10 out of the 12 spies held onto the fear that they would be devoured by its giants.
But Caleb, he remained courageous and persevered amongst the others’ discouragement. He saw the fruit of the promise. So he reassured his people and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are able to overcome it.”(Numbers 13:30)
But the grumblings and voices of fear from the other spies grew louder and louder and spread like wildfire amongst the other Israelites. They wept all night long questioning why God would lead them to a place they were to surely die.
And as Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in prayer before a weeping congregation, Caleb stood up in a righteous anger, tore his garments in frustration and he spoke these very words in a last effort to reassure the people of God’s promise:
“The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, HE will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us, do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:7-9)
The congregation resisted his optimism and had planned to stone him.
But Caleb, he rested faithfully. His courage was unfaltering. Giants did not disturb him nor would those who wanted to stone him to death.
Meanwhile, God’s glory suddenly appeared and he promised to make those who faithfully followed him to make them a nation greater and mightier than they ever had. But those who despised God’s promises, they would never see His promise fulfilled.
Never once did Caleb lower his standards. He followed God faithfully, wholly and fully.
He saw beyond the obstacles.
His perseverance and courage led him to defeat battles that seemed impossible to everyone else. Some battles were short, and some lasted a few years. Well into his 80’s, Caleb did not grow weary.
The opposition he faced from the land’s predators did not distract him. Caleb was determined to not know anything else other than God's promise. (1 Corinthians 2:2) He brought forth fruit even in his old age.
Forty-five years later, Caleb inherited his promised land.
“And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.” And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance.” Joshua 14:10-13 NKJV
The fruit of God’s promise was ripe and ready for harvest. Caleb’s request was answered.
Resting in the promise was a reward that crowned Caleb’s faith and faithfulness.
In this season, it is time to learn how to rest in the promises of God.
Whatever the promised land may look like, we must remain faithful and carry a spirit like Caleb.
We must be people of altitudes.
May we no longer remain content with the average or stay in the commonplaces that are familiar. When we take our promised land, may we no longer think in terms of fences and walled cities. It was the heights for Caleb! And although the mountain we may want is filled with hostile giants, we must refuse to allow the opposition and the lie of discouragement to defeat us nor allow it to determine the outcome of our destiny.
God wants us to claim our inheritance, because God will NOT withhold any good thing from us. God is with us. Rest in His Promises.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NIV
~ Stefanie Rodriguez