'As I live,' says the Lord, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.
Caleb and Joshua were the only two men to escape death in the forty-year wilderness adventure starring the children of Israel. They were the survivors--enduring more trials than any TV producer could invent. Their odds of winning? 300,000 to one--because the other 599,998 adult men died.
So what qualities did Caleb and Joshua possess that the others did not? Tolerance, faith, self-denial, humility, courage, loyalty, patience, vision and love. Even Moses failed once. But these two? God reveals no show-stopping stunts.
Of the 40-year-old Caleb, God says: 'My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it' (Numbers 14:24). 45 years later, Caleb says of himself:
'Here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said' (Joshua 14:10-12).
'Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb... because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel' (Joshua 14:14). Of all the Bible heroes in the Old and New Testaments, only Caleb is described five times as one who 'Wholly followed the Lord.' *
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Be strong, brave, disciplined, faithful and patient like Caleb. When Caleb first saw the land of Canaan occupied by the race of giants called Anakim, he said: 'Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it' (Numbers 13:30). 45 years later, Caleb was still ready.
Be wholehearted like Caleb: 'For the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever' (1 Chronicles 28:9).
To Be Continued...
* Caleb wholly followed the Lord: Scripture references: http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=wholly+followed+the+Lord&version=NKJV&searchtype=all&resultspp=500
Commentary on Caleb by Charles Spurgeon: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0538.htm
Additional article on Caleb: http://www.heraldmag.org/literature/bio_4.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Field of Dreams series.