Caleb’s name fit him well; “to rage with canine madness”. Just as a wild dog devotes his undivided attention to ravenously attacking and devouring, so Caleb remained completely focused on God’s command to claim the Promised Land.
Caleb was sent to explore the Promised Land as 1 of the original 12 spies (along with Joshua). When they got back, he and Joshua tried to convince the majority to trust God and take the Land (Num. 13). That determined devotion would be obvious throughout his life.
God rewarded Caleb’s tenacity by:
– Acknowledging his faith before all of God’s people,
– Allowing him to be 1 of 2 (again, the other being Joshua) of his whole generation who would live to cross over into the Promised Land, and
– Attributing to him a place – his choice! – within the Promised Land once it was.
Caleb was the Israelites’ “can-do” person. He saw the same things 10 other spies saw; walled cities, well-trained armies, the sheer number of opposing people who seemed larger than your average street thugs. But, he linked the facts with faith! And, isn’t that why there is a need for faith? Doesn’t faith imply stepping out to see what God can do?
That would be Caleb’s secret throughout his life; it was God’s strength, not his own. Check out how God brags on Caleb in Num. 14:24!
Do you have a mission? Does your church? Is it big enough to stretch your faith? Do your leaders and financial people agree that God’s work usually requires doing more than man can do on his own?
* God makes big promises to those who follow Him in faith!
Even as an old man, Caleb’s determination was still strong. Once the major battles had wound down, 85-yr-old Caleb went to Joshua and asked to be allowed to claim his part of the Promised Land; see Josh. 14:11,12.
Joshua granted him his request, and Caleb successfully defeated the giant people in their fortified cities… driving them out, just as God told him to.
Caleb had waited a long time. He was at the prime of his life when he was sent into Promised Land by Moses to check it out. Now, he was 85.
But, Caleb did not see himself as diminished… or beaten… or that his best days were behind him. He maintained his confident attitude.
If you feel like you have less life ahead of you than you do behind you, take a cue from Caleb. Each day ready. Each day hopeful. Each day wondering what incredible thing you can do with God on this day!
You can read Caleb’s story in Numbers 13,14; Joshua 14,15; Judges 1; 1Chronicles 4.