Do you trust God?
I have a dear friend and sister in Christ who’s deep in her 80’s now and she’s walked with God most of her life. What she tells me ~ and I believe her! ~ is that nearly all things in our life boil down to this one point: do we really trust God. For most of us who are walking with God, our first response tends to be “Of course I do ~ He’s God!” Yet when we really start looking at our lives and how we actually live ~ we find, if we’re honest, we really don’t look like bright reflectors of trust in God.
The good news is God promises to help us with this and praise be to God for His promises and His faithfulness!
Philippians 2:13 …for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.
Phil. 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
There are, of course, people who do really trust the Lord, and their lives reflect it! They’re inspiring and uplifting! They shine brightly and I find myself drawn to that Light thinking and feeling, “I want to be like that!” I’m not, most of the time ~ yet ~ but I hold on, by the grace of God, to His promises and so I have hope!
For we are His workmanship… (Ephesians 2:10)
One of my favorite lights illuminating trust in God ~ and consequently living a powerfully significant life in and through the Lord (Gal.2:20) ~ is Caleb! I hope you find him and his walk with the Lord as inspiring as I do!
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.” ~ Number 13:1-2
Verse 6 tells us Caleb was one of the men chosen… from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh…
As the story goes, the twelve leaders obey God without hesitation and spy out the land God has brought them to. When they return from this task, ten of the leaders said, “Yes, the land is all God said it would be, but we shouldn’t go there because there are giants in the land.” This news, of course, upset the people of Israel.
Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should, by all means, go up and take possession of it, for we will certainly prevail over it.” (v.30)
Caleb, like all the people of Israel, has seen God in action. He saw the plagues God brought on Egypt. He saw God free the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. (An unheard of thing!) He saw God part the waters of the Red Sea and deliver Israel on dry land from the Egyptians pursuing them. He’s seen and tasted the bread of God ~ manna. He’s seen God provide water from a rock and feed all of Israel with a flock of quail. He knows the God of his fathers is the maker of heaven and earth. Caleb knows Who God is, he trusts what God can do, and he believes God will finish what He started and will bring the people of Israel into the promised land.
However, the other leaders, except for Joshua, son of Nun, who stands with Caleb with God, change their story and now tell the people of Israel that the land will eat them and if not, then surely the giants filling the land there will destroy them…
Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” ~ Num. 14:6-9
But the people of Israel start talking about stoning Caleb and Joshua and Moses and Aaron and choosing new leaders who will take them back to Egypt ~
Then the glory of the Lord appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel.
~ Num. 14:10
The Lord ~ after a heavy discussion with Moses about what to do with these people of Israel ~ passes judgment on them and says only Caleb and Joshua will get to enter the promised land, some 40 years from now. Of Caleb, who boldly told spoke the truth and held to it because of his trust in the Lord, the Lord says:
But because My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows Me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. ~ Numbers 14:24
So now Caleb and Joshua have to wait 40 years before they can come into the promised land! Do they grumble and complain about having to tramp around the desert for 40 yrs. with this fearful, stubborn, willful people who wouldn’t obey and follow the Lord? Nope. Joshua continues in his service with Moses to be as near to the Lord as he can.
We’re not told what Caleb does, but it doesn’t seem to be a large stretch of the imagination to think that he increasingly became an inspiring figure for the young, growing men of Israel. Not only was he one of the only two remaining men who had actually seen the promised land they were headed for, but God had also blessed Caleb with a special gift ~ his strength does not fade for the whole 40 yrs. they’re tromping around the deserts. Essentially, he’s a superhero in their midst! Very likely he would have the opportunity to train the young men of Israel as they grew up and teach them about God as he knows Him to be.
Forty years later, when they do come once again to the promised land, Caleb continues to shine in following God wholeheartedly and reminds Joshua that God had promised him the land he had walked through the first time they were there ~ the hill country, where most of the giants were ~ and he’s 85 yrs. old!
Caleb has watched God at work in those 40 yrs. of desert wandering. Caleb still knows Who God is, he still trusts what God can do, and he still believes God will finish what He started and will bring the people of Israel into the promised land.
“Now then, just as the Lord promised, He has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time He said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 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 14:10-12
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. ~ Hebrews 13:8
O Lord, our God ~ loving, faithful, just, and righteous ~ help us to know You more
(2 Peter 3:18) and so trust You. Help us be all You have made us be (2 Corinthians 12:9) and to stand for You in these days and places to which You have brought us!
Photo: Piper Green (all rights reserved)