The Courageous Faith of Caleb
Bible Reading: Joshua 14:6-15
After reading this passage, how can it be that Caleb is not one of our favorite people from the Old Testament? I am so encouraged by the faith of this 85-year-old! Can you imagine all that Caleb has seen and experienced in his long life? Through it all, his faith is not only intact, but stronger than ever before. Caleb has experienced so much. He began as a slave in Egypt, and passed through the Red Sea as God parted the waters. He was with the people as God led them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He has eaten manna and drank water from a rock. He was one of the twelve spies sent into Canaan, and only he and Joshua believed God would give them the land. Caleb is outspoken about his faith, to the point that the other spies and people were prepared to stone him for his bold proclamation. When God cursed the people to wander in the wilderness for forty years, until all of the disobedient ones had died, Caleb survived it all. The next generation has rolled into the Promised Land, and Caleb, in his eighties, has been fighting all the way.
In this passage we get a sense of his zeal and faith in the promises of God. He proclaims that he is eighty-five years old, and in verse eleven he says, “I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming.” This elderly man is ready to fight for what the Lord has promised him! He is so eager, that he asks Joshua for a piece of land that is filled with giants. How does this old man plan to defeat them? “It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.” Caleb knows that any time he goes to battle that it could be his last, and he is at peace with that. When he asks to go and take the land where giants roam, he believes that if God wills, he will defeat them and claim the land God has promised. Caleb realizes he may not live to establish his home and family, but he knows this land will belong to God’s people. In that faith, Caleb presses on.
Caleb’s faith is so encouraging to me, because he knows the promises of God, and everything he does is motivated by those promises. It makes me ask myself: Aren’t the promises of God made to me even greater than the ones made to Caleb? The promises given to us are grounded in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have the promises of Revelation 21:3-4, which says, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” In light of the promises of God we have been given, shouldn’t our faith be as bold and sure as Caleb’s?
Call to Action: Do you know all of the promises God has made to you? If not, begin reading through the Bible and highlighting the places where God promises His people something. You will be surprised at the blessings God has waiting for those who follow Him instead of chasing the world. As you read the Bible, and remember His promises, challenge yourself to walk in them. Could you boldly declare the promises of God like Caleb did? Tell people about the wonderful things God has done for you since saving you from sin. As the children of God, we rejoice in our salvation, and we proclaim this Good News to all of the world. Live your faith out loud, and have the courage of Caleb!