Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Faith of Caleb

7Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.
8Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.
9And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.
10And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
11As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.
12Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.
13And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.

Joshua 14:7-13, King James Version

A series of devotions on People Full of Faith would not be quite complete without looking at the faith of Caleb. As you remember, he and Joshua went out with 10 other men to spy out the land. It had only been a few months since they had left Egypt and had seen God miraculously protect them by parting the waters of the Red Sea and giving them safe passage to the other side, and then destroying the Egyptian army.

Here they were, on the brink of the promised land; the end of their journey was near at hand. The report that 10 of those 12 people brought back to the Israelites devastated them. There were giants in the land and fortified cities; the Anakim were there. How could they ever win any battles against these people? Only Joshua and Caleb encouraged the Israelites to move on into the land; the same God who had protected them thus far, would give them victory over the people living in the land God had promised to give to them.

It was this sin of the people and their lack of faith that made God condemn them to 40 years of wandering in the desert until the last of those over 20 years of age would die. Only those 20 years of age and younger, at the time of the disobedience of the people, as well as those born during the years of wandering would be allowed to enter the land.

Joshua and Caleb, because of their good report of the land and their faith in God, would be allowed to enter the promised land. It is now 45 years later; Joshua is the new leader of the Israelites and Caleb is as strong at 85 as he was 45 years earlier. Caleb did not give up and say, I'm too old to fight, let the younger fellows go to war. This is what Caleb said to Joshua, in verses 11 to 12:

As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.

Not only was Caleb still as strong physically as he had been 45 years earlier, but his faith had remained strong as well.

Have you ever pondered what the years have done or might do to your faith? Remember, Jesus is the same today, yesterday, and forever. This same God whom you embraced at the birth of your salvation is the same God today and will be the same God forever. If your faith has become weak, then cry out to God. It is God who gave Caleb the strength to conquer that mountain at 85 years of age, and it is this same God who will continue to grant you faith throughout your walk here on this earth.

Praise God for the Faith of Caleb!

God Bless You,
Linda

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