Mar 26 (Daily reading: Joshua 12-15) Today’s commentary is adapted from my book, “From West Texas to the French West Indies and Back Again” (pages 105-106).
We met Caleb at Kadesh Barnea as one of the twelve sent in to spy out the promised land. Ten of the spies reported that the people who lived there were too strong, and the cities were fortified and large. But “Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, ‘We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it’” (Num. 13:30). Because of Caleb’s report, God said about him: “Because he has had a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring [him] into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it” (Num. 14:24).
Forty-five years later, in our reading for today, Caleb explained to Joshua the confidence he expressed at Kadesh Barnea. “I brought back a report according to my convictions…I followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly” (14:7–8, NIV). He had not changed in all those years. He said, “Now give me this mountain” (where the Anakim, or giants, lived, and where the cities were fortified). “It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said” (14:12 NKJV). Knowing there were giants to face, Caleb placed his confidence in God!
He had been faithful in the past, at Kadesh Barnea. He was strong in the present, “as my strength was then, so my strength is now” (14:11). He was confident concerning his future, as long as the Lord was with him: “I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken” (14:12). The Bible records the results of his faith and trust in God: “Then they gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had promised; and he drove out from there the three sons of Anak” (Judg. 1:20). God who has been with us in the past is with us in the present, and He will never abandon us in the future. Bring on the giants!
– Al Gary