Wednesday, 25 January 2023
“I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me;… Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day… perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken.” -Joshua 14:11-12
In the Book of Joshua, we see a fulfilment of God’s people inheriting their Promised Land as promised to Abraham (Genesis 15:7). In the midst of great national achievements, is a short yet significant record of a personal conquest by a man of great faith – Caleb! Having received the promise at the age of 40 (Deuteronomy 1:34-36), by faith Caleb waited 45 years to claim his inheritance – while an entire unbelieving generation perished in the wilderness. The life of Caleb offers us some valuable lessons for our Christian walk.
A Committed Life: Caleb’s life was one of obedience and surrender to God. From when he was sent out as a young spy till the ripe age of 85, we see a man of faith who chose to follow the Lord God completely. His inheritance is a reward of his faithfulness to the Lord. Let us too declare our absolute commitment to the Lord: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Remember God’s Promises: While many perished around him, Caleb continued the wilderness walk for almost 40 years in faith, bearing in mind God’s promise of inheritance (Numbers 14:24). He had the confident assurance that God would fulfil His promises. Have you received God’s promise and forgotten it or been lax in your wait? Dear brother/sister, bring to remembrance every Word that has been spoken over your life and your generation and trust in the Lord, for He will surely bring it to pass!
Unwavering Faith in God: Caleb’s words, ‘I am still as strong today…’ (V.11) does not just mean physical strength, but his strong unwavering faith in God. As he believed God to deliver the fortified cities and the giants into their hands when spying the promised land (Num.13:30), almost 5 decades later when he claims his inheritance, his faith is still as strong that God will give them victory. No matter the challenges you face or your external circumstances, do not doubt, but have firm faith that the Lord is in absolute control of your life.
Waiting on God’s Timing: Owing to the fear and disbelief of the rest of the nation, Joshua and Caleb also experienced forty years of wilderness wandering, but they did not grumble or lose heart but faithfully served the Lord, waiting on His promise. Do not be disheartened as you wait on the Lord - be it 25 years of waiting like Abraham or 45 years of waiting like Joshua and Caleb, remember that the Lord is moulding you in the process and He will surely lift you up. Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.(Isaiah 40:31)
Claim your mountain: While the Israelites claimed the lust valleys of Canaan, Caleb asked from the Hill country of Hebron – the land of the giants. The mountain depicts a spiritual walk – one that every believer has in this life. When you claim your ‘promised land’, you will have to drive out the ‘giants’. Do not be intimidated but face the challenge, trusting in God and watch His power at work!
Rely on God’s Deliverance: Joshua 15:14 records Caleb driving out the giants from his inheritance. When Caleb claimed his inheritance, he believed beyond any doubt that God would bring deliverance. When God fights your battles, there is victory and rest. Whatever your present struggles, submit it to the Lord and rely on Him for deliverance. ‘You shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you.’ (Deut.3:22)
May we desire to have that ‘different spirit’ like Caleb, which is wholeheartedly dedicated to the Lord and choose to claim and possess our rich and glorious inheritance in Christ by faith!
The Promise: Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. (Romans 8:37)