Caleb was one of the 12 spies. He was no superman; rather, he was a man like you and me. He saw the challenge that the fortified city and its inhabitants presented, but he did something differently from the other spies.
Caleb did not let what he saw interfere with the promise that God had made to His people. While the other spies saw themselves as grasshoppers before their opponents, he saw ‘men as bread’.
Years later, Caleb spoke about the event. There is something powerful that God wants to bring to your attention through this story.
The descendants of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, ‘You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God about you and me at Kadesh Barnea.
‘I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy on the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart.
My companions who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt, but I wholeheartedly followed after the Lord my God’.
On that day Moses swore an oath, ‘The land on which your foot treads shall be your inheritance, for your descendants perpetually, because you completely followed after the Lord my God’.
‘Now, the Lord has kept me alive, just as He said, for forty-five years, since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old.
‘I am still just as strong today as I was on the day that Moses sent me. My strength now is just like my strength then, both for battle and for going out and returning’ (Joshua 14:6-11).
The defeatist spirit of the other spies shows that, even though they knew of God’s power, they forgot that He was with them; they gave in to their weaknesses and spread the same fear among the people.
Nowadays, people may still do the same. How many people say that they believe in God but, when faced with challenges, they focus on their weaknesses and admit defeat?
It’s not enough to say that you follow God: in practice, this means holding on to his word no matter what comes your way. Many people say that they are following Him, yet they still allow doubt and negativity to interfere in their relationship with God.
We have to face life’s challenges like Caleb – as if they were bread, something you can devour. When anyone tells you that you are not able to do something, tell them you are. Don’t give ears to negative voices: hang on to your faith, face your challenges with boldness. If you have Jesus by your side, why should you bow down before your challenges or problems and allow your weaknesses to prevail? Remember, the problem of the weak is not that they feel their weakness but rather that they give in to their weakness.
Being strong is a matter of choice. Caleb conquered the promised land because he chose to be strong.
‘He gives power to the faint, and to those who have no might, He increases strength’ (Isaiah 40:29).