Written by Jan Jalowiec
Numbers. For some who have an aversion to math, the title alone is enough to make them want to skip it altogether. Oh, the glorious things that they would miss! The Israelites were captives for 430 years in Egypt. Generations of babies were born, and elders died. Rules and rulers changed, and many treacheries happened to them. All the while, the Lord was orchestrating a miraculous rescue!
Imagine being an enslaved Israelite parent trying to teach your children about the One true God. This truth was in complete contrast to their pagan, idolatrous captors. Caleb was one such child! How diligently his parents – and generations before them – secretly and earnestly taught their children the ways of Jehovah.
The lineage and stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob must have been rehearsed over and over in Caleb’s ears. By the time of Israel’s miraculous exodus, Caleb was a middle-aged man. Moses saw godly character in him- and chose Caleb as one of the twelve spies to search out the promised land. After the reconnaissance mission, Caleb and Joshua were the only two that believed God’s promise of victory and possession of the land.
In chapters 13 and 14, we read Caleb and Joshua’s impassioned pleas to the people to not be rebellious and fearful, but to follow the Lord into victory!
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. Numbers 13:30
Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. Numbers 14:9
How did Caleb have the fortitude to go against the other 10 men- against millions of Israelites?! It says the whole congregation wanted to stone them! Numbers 14:24 reveals the source of Caleb’s boldness and confidence: “But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.”
Caleb had no idea of the judgment that would befall the nation for their fear and unbelief. He only knew the Spirit that was guiding him to wholly follow God. The Spirit of the LORD quelled fears and emboldened him to stand up in the face of such adversity.
That same Spirit is alive in those who are in Christ! We live surrounded by adversity, confusion, and physical and emotional enslavement- not to mention the fearful mobs that are waiting to come against us as we strive to fully follow God.
What Caleb said then is still true for us today… the LORD is with us: fear them not! There is no need to wander in your wilderness for years. Follow the call of the Spirit. He will drive out giants and bring you into the promised land, for He is faithful.