by PJ Salas light
"My servant Caleb, because he had a right spirit within him, and has followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land wherein he went; and his seed will possess it." Numbers 14:24.
Caleb, from the tribe of Judah, son of Jephunneh of the Kenizzites, was a genuine, stalwart man of God, who walked in the light of the Almighty. He was audacious and courageous, gallant. Caleb took God at His Word, and acted on his convictions. He was a man whose whole heart belonged to Jesus, evidenced by his life.
There are many colorful and positive adjectives that can be used to describe Caleb. He was bold, robust and vigorous, unflinchingly brave and fearless, an able-bodied warrior, even at the age of eighty-five.
Caleb was a godly man who lived during the time of Israel's exodus from Egypt, and their subsequent years of wondering in the wilderness. He was one of twelve spies sent to scout out Canaan for conquest; and one of only two who brought back a good report; and of the two, Caleb is the one highlighted.
On The Heels of Israel's Exodus
Spies were sent to Canaan in preparation for conquering the land God promised to His servant Abraham generations before; and swore to Noah that Ham's son Canaan would serve the offspring of his sons Shem and Japheth, because of Ham's vile act (Genesis 9:18-27; 12:1-7).
The spies were to assess the land quality, the populace, how the cities were built, and to bring back produce from Canaan. They set out on their mission. After forty days they returned with figs, pomegranates, and one branch of a cluster of grapes that was so large two men had to carry it on a staff (Numbers 13:16-25).
Ten of the spies reported that the land surely flowed with milk and honey; but the people were too strong, and their cities were greatly walled. For this, Israel complained against God.
However, Caleb spoke up; quieting the people he said, let us go up right away for we can take the land, we are well able.
The ten spies' response was that they could not go up against Canaan. The people were stronger than they were, men of great stature, giants of the sons of Anak. They exclaimed that they were as grasshoppers compared to the Canaanites (Numbers 13:26 – 33).
Judgment Befalls Israel
Because Israel complained, disbelieved, and were unwilling to move forward in conquest God appointed them forty years of wondering in the wilderness, one year for each day the spies were in Canaan. Further, that unbelieving generation would not go into Canaan, they would die, except for Caleb and Joshua. The next generation would go in and conquer. (Numbers 14:20-38).
How soon Israel had forgotten God's favor, and their miraculous exit from Egypt. The Almighty protected them on their journey to Canaan, and opened the Red Sea giving them passage on dry land through the waters; and yet they failed to believe that God would give them the promised land.
Caleb's story is one of faithfulness; he believed God, and trusted Him completely. His life is a testament to the Lord, from whom he drew strength; and because of it he could honestly and unequivocally say–
"I was forty years old when Moses, the Lord's servant, sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him word as it was in my heart. …my brethren who went up with me caused God's people to doubt; but I wholly obeyed the Lord my God. And Moses swore that day, saying, surely the land where your feet have tread will be your inheritance, and your children's forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God."
"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 the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness. And lo, I am eighty-five years old. As yet, I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me. As my strength for war was then, even so is my strength for war now..."
"Therefore give me this mountain, which the Lord spoke on that day… and if the Lord is with me, then I will be able to drive them out, as the Lord said." Joshua 14:7-12.
At forty years old, Caleb was tenacious and resolute. He was dedicated to God and doing what the Lord said to do; and at eight-five years of age he had not changed, nor weakened. A man of purpose, determined and assiduous, he was committed to God's will.
Caleb's might came from the Almighty; and he steadfastly abided in that power, which enabled him to take the territory God promised forty-five years earlier. The unrelenting and strong-willed Caleb was a serious and persevering man who understood the importance of submitting to God. His dedication to the Lord fueled his life, and carried him through the desert years of Israel's wondering for forty years.
Ready and Willing
Caleb's life is a sterling example of a man of God, who was close to the Lord and believed Him unreservedly. Because he knew the Almighty, he understood God's purpose and the necessity of acting accordingly. He remembered what God did at the Red Sea, and recognized the opportunity God presented to bless Israel and fulfill His promises. Caleb was ready and willing to do all that the Lord said.
Exemplar Standard Bearer
Victory belongs to all who seek courage and strength from God. Caleb knew this first hand. He understood that without the Lord, nothing really transpires as it should, but with God, He enables us to do whatever is required. God's faithful warrior is a demonstration of what a life lived in the light of God looks like; and the feats we can accomplish, both personally and societally, through strong faith in the Lord.
The Almighty gives counsel and direction to illuminate our way (Psalms 119:105), and to keep us from faltering on our journey. Caleb understood this, and did not hesitate to follow the instruction and wisdom of God.
Caleb is a shining illustration of what we can do if we will trust in God and His Word. Through him, we see what we can be in Jesus; and we understand what it means to walk God's distinctly straight and elucid highway; it is all about faith in Jesus, and acting on that faith.
God's faithful warrior exemplifies what it means to be in Christ. Caleb's fidelity and allegiance to the Lord, his loyalty and devotion to the Almighty, encourages us to faithfully-walk in God's light. His example blazes a trail for us to go in the good way (Jeremiah 6:16).
The account of Caleb's life is the way of faithfulness, and encourages us in whole-hearted trust in God. His life points to the victorious path. God's faith-filled servant inspires us to embrace the Lord's promises, and to keep our hearts with all diligence in the light of God's love through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our journey is enlightened as we contemplate the legacy of Caleb's character; and we see more clearly the truth of God's Word which admonishes us, this is the way walk ye in it. Moreover, we comprehend more fully, that nothing is impossible with God (Isaiah 30:21; Luke 1:37).
"…come, let us walk in the light of the Lord." "For the path of the just is as the shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect day." Isaiah 2:5; Proverbs 4:18.