I’m sorry I’ve taken so long to write. I’ve set it in my heart to write this for letter 2 weeks but just couldn’t bring myself to write it. I have one question for you.. how did you do it? You and the other 11 spies went to explore Canaan, the Promised Land. It was beautiful, fruitful and rich just as God had promised. But there was a problem, the people living in the land were giants. These people would have to be defeated in order for your people to take the land. When the spies brought their report to Moses they acknowledged that the land was Good but that the people living there were mighty. Their solution was not to take the land. It was too risky because they would die. But you and Joshua said no, let’s go take the land.
Caleb how did you ignore everything that would be against you? How did the giants not frighten you? The journey to the Promise Land was strenuous, long and hard. I would have understood if you felt like the land would just be handed over to you all, but that wasn’t the case. Now your people had to face and defeat the giants in the land. The other 10 spies said “ we are but grasshoppers”. In comparison to the people living in Canaan they believed they were weak, incapable and insignificant. There was no way they would ever live in Canaan. While you and Joshua said “ let us go up into the land and take possession for we are well able to claim it”.
You didn’t deny what the other spies reported but you had an assurance that even with the strongman in the land it would be your people’s. Caleb, I need that assurance. The confidence that confesses boldly yes the situation looks impossible but it is possible. Knowing that even if all hell breaks loose we will possess the land regardless of who lives there now. God was so pleased with you and Joshua, because you believed that He was capable to do what He said He would do! You remembered the Red Sea, the manna in the wilderness and the victory God gave you.
Caleb do you remember saying these words ““If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord, neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their defense and the shadow [of protection] is removed from over them, but the Lord is with us. Fear them not.”
Reading that brings tears to my eyes because I’m envious of this assurance you had. You see often times I struggle to look at my circumstance in light of God. I feel weak in comparison to the giants. I feel inadequate and incapable of possessing the land. But I’m coming to one realization- your assurance came from God not from yourself. Never once did you say “ we are powerful enough to take the land”! You confessed that God will give you the land and that God was with you. It was God’s power that you believed in not your own.
I can only speak for myself and say this, when I look at all my trials in light of my ability I’m discouraged, frail and oppressed but my perspective changes when I look at those same things in light of God’s ability! You were sure because you were sure of God! I need to be sure because I am sure of God! It doesn’t matter what the situation looks like– if God is with us nothing is impossible! When Moses addressed you all in the wilderness he said that God didn’t love and choose Israel because you were a great nation. The truth was that Israel was actually the smallest. His love was upon Israel because of the promise He made to your ancestors.
Caleb, God was sure about Israel. Even though He knew the Israelites would turn away from Him. He was sure that a remnant in Israel would remain sure of Him. He wants us to have that conviction about Him! Writing this letter was difficult for me because I had to admit that at times I wavered in my assurance. I wavered in my confidence in God. I too became like the other 10 spies who were so concerned with preserving their life that they missed out on God’s promise. I don’t want to stay in that place. I want to go from knowing God who saved me through Jesus’s sacrifice to wholeheartedly understanding that it is the same power that is with me.
I realize that it’s easier to trust that Jesus’ sacrifice is enough to save us but it’s more difficult to endure trials that come our way. But, Caleb the same power that was involved in saving me is the same power that will keep and preserve me in the midst of the giants. When I think about Jesus’ journey to the cross one thing is evident– He had confidence in His Father. The cross was daunting and would be painful but the Lord was with Him, so He feared not.
Caleb, if we don’t have confidence in God what do we have? Confidence that God is faithful to do what He promises and Faithful to be with us all the way. Thank you for showing me an example of confidence in the face of uncertainty. I’m grateful for the life you lived and the faith you exercised! Learning how to stand in assurance of God, Nadesha