THE GREAT FAITH OF Caleb
Numbers 13:1–2, 17–33, 14:1–9, 20–24; Joshua 14:6–15
But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”
This historical event took place around 1450 BC. Moses had recently delivered God’s people from Egyptian slavery and was now attempting to take them into the promised land. God had given the people a promise. They had a covenant with him. The land was theirs. But there was a problem: there were giants in the land.
There are always giants in the land. There are always obstacles standing in the way of the promises of God. Henry Ford once said, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” That quote would be more accurate if it was rewritten to say, “Obstacles are those terrible things you see when you take your eyes off God’s Word.”
The people of Israel did not enter the land because they believed in the giants more than they believed in the promise of God—unlike Caleb. God’s testimony concerning his faith was: “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).
Caleb gave us an example to follow. He declared God’s promises even when faced with overwhelming obstacles. We all have our own personal giants that continually try to deter us from our promised land. But if we follow the faith of Caleb, we too will overcome every obstacle.
Great faith declares God’s promises even when facing great obstacles.
Unbelief shows up in so many ways in our lives: worry, fear, doubt, and anxiety. Why are these forms of unbelief such an insult to God? What does it say about his character?
What are the main giants in your life right now that are keeping you from inheriting your promised land? What will you do to defeat them?
Confession of Faith
Adapted from 1 John 4:4, 5:4; Philippians 4:13; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 6:10, 6:16; Romans 8:37; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Mark 9:23; Hebrews 10:35–39.
Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—my faith. I am born of God, and I overcome the world. I can do all things through Christ who makes me strong. I fight the good fight of faith. I take hold of eternal life. The spirit of faith is upon me.
I am strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. I take up the shield of faith to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. I am more than a conqueror through him who loves me. He always leads me in his triumph in Christ and manifests through me the sweet aroma of the knowledge of him in every place I go.
All things are possible to me because I believe. I do not throw away my confidence, which has a great reward. For I have need of endurance, so that when I have done the will of God, I will receive what was promised. “For yet in a very little while, he who is coming will come, and will not delay. But my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” I am not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4
“The man who is not thoroughly persuaded . . . resembles a wave of the sea; he is in a state of continual agitation; driven by the wind, and tossed: now rising by hope, then sinking by despair.”
—Adam Clarke,British Methodist Theologian and Bible Scholar