Some people love to fight. I never was one of them. I enjoyed wrestling and sparring during Karate class, but I never felt like I could really get hurt. Today, my biggest fight is against gravity just trying to get up from the couch. Sometimes gravity pulls me back, but usually I win.
There is a verse in the Old Testament that is remarkable (there are many, in fact). After the Hebrews were led out of Egypt, they approached the southern border of present-day, Israel. Intending to invade the land, they sent twelve men ahead of them to scout the land and report back about the battles they would face. If you are familiar with the Old Testament, you know that when the scouts returned, “they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, ‘The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.’” (Numbers 13:32)
Even though God told them to move forward, the Hebrews were too fearful to do so. Only two of the scouts, Joshua and Caleb, had a positive attitude to trust God for victory. The nay-sayers won out, and as a result the band of Hebrews wandered in the desert for 40 years. Everyone who had been twenty years or older died during those forty years. Only Joshua and Caleb were still alive of that generation. Joshua took over the leadership of the Hebrews after Moses died. But whatever happened to Caleb?
My use of this example is in NO WAY a political statement about the present-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I’m only using this example in the history of those people to highlight the character of Caleb.
Referring back to the days of scouting out the land, Caleb said to his friend Joshua, “Here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.” (Joshua 14:10–11) He was ready for a good fight. I hope I’m still victorious over the couch when I’m 85 (if I even reach that age), but Caleb wanted to attack the city of Hebron because the men there were TOUGH, like the boys in my hometown. In other words, Caleb was not looking for a life of ease, but he still wanted adventure in his latter years.
People like Caleb always stand out. They are the ones who believe Jesus’ words, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) Caleb didn’t suddenly develop strong faith when he turned 85. His confidence was in God when he was a forty-year-old scout. I hope this encourages you to follow Caleb’s example and be a man or woman of faith who trusts God no matter the challenges before you.
More impressive than Caleb is the Lord Jesus. He faced the cross with confidence that His heavenly Father had arranged for His death to be the sufficient payment for the sins of the world. “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him [Jesus] the sins of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) I encourage you to become a Christ-follower if you haven’t already done so.