Suggested Reading: Joshua 14:6-15
“Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” Joshua 14:12
Caleb was one of the Bible’s most prolific men of faith. His life is one of unquestionable and unwavering faith in God in the midst of a doubting and rebellious group of people. In Numbers 13, he along with Joshua and ten other men are selected to enter the Promised Land and spy out the countryside and the civilizations living there. They certainly find, as promised, a land ‘flowing with milk and honey’, a virtual paradise. The problem is that the peoples residing there live in walled cities, have formidable armies and some are even giants! Even though, God has promised them this land and that He would fight for them, most of the spies were ready run the other way back to Egypt. Only two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua stood up and told the people, “We can take them!” Caleb believed God’s promises wholeheartedly and he faithfully placed his life in His hands.
In Joshua 14, Joshua has been anointed the leader of God’s people and Israel has taken possession of most of the Promised Land. The only regions that they did not control were areas of uninhabitable terrain or where they have encountered stiff resistance from the Canaanites. The tribes have begun establishing cities and farming the land. Caleb comes to Joshua with an unusual request. He requested the land of Hebron, the very land that he and the other spies explored more than forty years ago. This was a wild hill country inhabited by giants… in the literal sense. This land was the home of the Anakites, an ancient race of giants, from whom Goliath in the story a of David came from. Not only was Caleb asking for the toughest place to live, but also a land that required the conquest of a powerful and well fortified enemy.
Caleb had an incredible faith that we all should aspire to have. He was not intimidated by the challenges of taking possession of his promised land and longed to see God at work in a mighty way. Caleb believed that for him to truly rely on God he needed to step out and do something that he could not possibly do in his own strength. With God’s help he was able to take possession of the rich land promised to him so many years before.
In life, we often play the part of the other spies who see the what God is doing from a distance. We find it easier to live in the ‘peaceful valley’ and only trust God a little. It is much harder to lay aside our own strength, rely on God completely and take on the mountains. If we always choose the easy way, we will never see God’s power on display in our lives. What giants are staring down at you laughing right now? Step out in faith, rest in His arms, see Him defeat them and see His mighty hand at work in your life.