Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Ageless Faith

“So that day Moses solemnly promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God.’ ” (Joshua 14:9 NLT)

The pages of the Bible are filled with stories of those who did not cross the finish line in the race of life. They had great potential. They started well. But they ended miserably.

Yet how important it is that we make it over the finish line. The writer of Hebrews warned, “Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. . . . For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ” (3:12, 14 NLT)

Caleb was someone who was faithful to the end. Of the two to three million people who left Egypt in the Exodus, he made it across the finish line. An unsung hero of the Bible, Caleb stands as a shining example of someone who never lost his edge spiritually.

At the age of eighty-five Caleb said, “I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then” (Joshua 14:11 NLT).

So where did Caleb find the resources, the true spiritual grit, to do so well when others failed so miserably?

Joshua 14 gives us some insight. Speaking to Joshua, Caleb said, “I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadesh-barnea to explore the land of Canaan. I returned and gave an honest report, but my brothers who went with me frightened the people from entering the Promised Land. For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God” (verses 7–8 NLT).

Forty-five years earlier, Moses, along with Joshua, Caleb, and the children of Israel, arrived at Kadesh-barnea on the edge of the Promised Land. Their trek across the wilderness had been quick. But instead of entering the land that God had promised them, they first sent in spies.

Moses sent in twelve men, and among them were Joshua and Caleb. And when the spies brought back their report, ten of them were terrified by what they saw. They looked at the land through eyes of unbelief, and fear had paralyzed them.

Meanwhile, Joshua and Caleb saw the land through eyes of faith. Caleb said, “Let’s go at once to take the land. . . . We can certainly conquer it!” (Numbers 13:30 NLT).

But it was the majority and not the minority that influenced the people. The fear and paranoia of the ten convinced them more than the faith and belief of the two.

In fact, the people were so angry with Joshua and Caleb for even suggesting they enter the land that they wanted to kill them both. Yet Joshua and Caleb refused to give in.

Caleb followed God fully and completely. And if we can learn to follow the Lord wholeheartedly like Caleb did, then the results can be the same for us. Because Caleb’s God is our God.

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