As the inheritance of land was being allocated to the tribes of Israel in a fair and unbiased way by Eleazer the priest and Joshua the leader of the Israelites, drawing lots, Caleb makes a request to be given the particular land promised to him forty five years ago by Moses. He speaks of the time when he scouted the land of Canaan and was fully convinced it was God’s will for them to conquer it. Sadly there were ten other men who saw things differently.
It’s amazing how some people can witness God moving in power and yet afterwards they don’t want to follow God with all their heart. They seem to forget God’s miracles and lose faith in Him. Fear and unbelief dominate their world view and belief systems, affecting their emotions and actions, controlling their lives and robbing them of their destiny in God’s purposes.
Even though the Israelites had seen God’s miracles with their own eyes there were now only four men of a ‘different spirit’, sold out to God, fully committed to Him and willing to please Him. They were Moses, Aaron, Caleb and Joshua. Caleb pleaded with the people not to rebel against God and not to be afraid. He assured them God was with them. But the bitter rebellion in their hearts meant they were totally impervious to his words and they fully intended to stone him and Joshua to death.
But God intervened at that point and took authority over the situation. He said to Moses that He would bring down judgment against this evil, destroy the guilty and start again with a new race. Moses pleaded for mercy and pardon and God granted this. However there had to be a penalty as a consequence of this rebellion.
God would carry out His Covenant promises made with the Israelites but only Caleb and Joshua would live to see this happen. ‘But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it’ (Numbers 14:24).
So forty five years later Caleb makes his request, but in a humble way, ‘So now give me this hill country of which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the LORD said’ (Joshua 14:12). He doesn’t come in a pushy way to assert his rights. He submits to the leadership of Joshua and doesn’t presume upon God. Joshua blessed him and gave him permission to take his inheritance.
On a course called ‘Living for God in a hostile world’ Alistair Petrie was teaching and said ‘Understand that humility always pre-empts entitlement. Lawlessness and entitlement are two tools in the devil’s tool box, even in the Church. Humility will always remove that issue of entitlement. Begin to work in the opposite spirit and the enemy cannot take that’.
What kind of spirit are we of? Caleb was blessed with strength and health. At the age of eighty five he was able to conquer and take possession of the hill country and drive out the giants who lived there.
Prayer: Dear heavenly father, help us to remember Your miracles and wonders and put our faith in You for the future. Help us to work in the opposite spirit when we encounter hostility and rebellion against You. May we follow you with our whole heart as Caleb did. Amen.
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