Caleb’s Wholehearted Commitment – My Daily Bread!
Our call to faithfulness is taken from Numbers 14: 24 and it reads:
“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.”
Yesterday we reflected on the cost of disobedience focusing on the circumstances that led to the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years. We learned how the report of ten spies resulted in grumbling and disobedience and ultimately God’s punishment (Numbers 13: 27-33) on the entire nation of Israel. (See ‘The Cost of Disobedience’, September 26, 2011)
We also were introduced to a man who stood up for God in the midst of his people when nobody else did. His name is Caleb and today‘s reflection is about his story. God does not give out to many compliments in the Word; however Caleb has the distinction of having received an honorable mention as noted above. God saw something about him that He liked, namely a ‘different spirit’ that resulted in wholehearted commitment to God. His story is one of courage in the face of adversity; it is a story of believing, trusting and acting in accordance with one’s conviction!
His first mention is in Numbers 13: 6 when he is listed among the 12 spires selected to go and check out the Promised Land. The next time he is mentioned is when he displayed great courage for God “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, we should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (Numbers 13: 30) Here it is important to note that Caleb stood alone at this crucial moment supporting a very unpopular position – following God. Eerily both Moses and Aaron are silent, now they must have said something, but it is not recorded in scripture.
Caleb, now joined by Joshua stood up for God again at risk to both their lives and encouraged the people to trust in what God had promised, they said “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 swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them”. (Numbers 14: 7-9)
These words of encouragement are also a key to understanding what else perhaps caught God’s eye regarding Caleb in addition to his bold statement all by his lonesome. Caleb acknowledged God’s role in their lives and his sovereignty to bring about all that He chooses, believing this in his heart he pointed them to God and told them four things that we should take care to remember when we are faced with a decision to follow God: (1) to do what God says; (2) Not to disobey the Lord; (3) not to give into fear for God was with them; (4) and because they had the Lord of Host on their side, no one could prevail against them.
Caleb’s words denote a strong conviction for God. He knew where he stood on the issue of obedience before the crisis arose. In the midst of the trouble he did not waver in his conviction to follow God. This is what undoubtedly got him the noteworthy mention in the Word for ‘wholeheartedly following the Lord’, the ‘different sprit’ that so pleased God. He could appreciate the Psalmist’s statement: “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27: 1-2)
Caleb and Joshua were the only two adults who left Egypt that actually entered the Promised Land! Joshua was God’s choice to replace Moses and went on to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land and became one of God’s greatest prophets. And as for Caleb, he was 85 years old when he actually entered the Promised Land and took possession of his inheritance! He is honored with being mentioned numerous times in scripture for his ‘wholehearted’ commitment and conviction for the Lord. (Joshua 14:7-9, 14; Deuteronomy 1:36)
Saints, do you have a wholehearted commitment to God? Have you resolved in your heart to obey and follow the Lord at all times? Do you have a ‘different spirit’, one that is pleasing to the Lord? Ask God to give you a wholehearted commitment to Him and His will like Caleb; so that you believe in your heart that “the Lord is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one” (Psalm 28: 8) and resolve to ‘follow the Lord with your whole heart, mind and soul’, because “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Roman 8:31)
Copyright© 2011 Colleen Holton All Rights Reserved.