Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9 NIV)
The story of Caleb and Joshua speaks mightily to us today. These brave Israelite men teach us not to lose heart before the victory comes. Their story begins after Moses brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and led them through the wilderness to the border of the Promised Land (Canaan).
Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan to explore the land. Forty days later they returned, and all agreed it was a magnificent land. But ten spies reported that the cities were fortified, the people were strong, and they even saw giants there. Among the twelve spies were Joshua and Caleb, who gave a good report. Caleb told the people to go at once and take the land, for they were well able to conquer it. (Numbers 13:30) But the ten spies feared the people of Canaan, and their negative report spread throughout the camp. The Israelites grumbled against Moses and said that they wanted to go back to Egypt. They failed to remember that God brought them out of slavery, performed miracles right before their eyes, fed them, and protected them in the wilderness. Except for Joshua and Caleb, that generation did not enter Canaan, and they died in the wilderness. After Moses’ death, Joshua took command and led the new generation of Israelites into the Promised Land.
Blindsided by fear, the first generation of Israelites did not go the distance. Caleb and Joshua’s story sends us a powerful message to stay the course and keep trusting God.
Heavenly Father, give us courage and endurance as that of Caleb and Joshua. Develop in us the mindset of Caleb, who saw victory instead of defeat, who gave a good report, and who boldly declared, "We are well able to take the land." In Jesus’ name. Amen.