We read about Joshua and Caleb in the story of the twelve spies of Isreal. In Numbers 13, God instructed Moses to send men to spy out the land. He sent a leader or a chief from each tribe, including Caleb from the tribe of Judah and Joshua from tribe of Ephraim. All of the men went and saw the land, including the fruits, the abundance and the inhabitants. The majority of the men (ten), brought back such an evil report that the people became despondent. The people rebelled against God, threatened to stone Moses and Aaron, appoint a new leader and return to Egypt. Despite the crowd mentality, Joshua and Caleb stood out and gave a different report. “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”” (Numbers 13:30).
The other men contradicted Caleb’s report and were adamant that the people were stronger than they. They considered the land to be one which devoured its inhabitants. “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”” (Numbers 13:33). Joshua maintained a similar position to Caleb and begged the people to listen to what God said through Moses. The people’s disobedience led to God decreeing that they would not see the promised land, except for Caleb and Joshua. I wonder what distinguished Joshua and Caleb from the other spies. What made them bold and full of faith while others cowered in fear?
Joshua was Moses’s servant who had spent a lot of time with him in the mountains, when he went up to speak to God. I assume that there was something special about him, which made Moses choose him as his assistant. I also believe that his time with Moses and in the presence of God made him stand out among other men. Joshua was loyal, supportive, committed, dedicated and bold. He was also chosen to succeed Moses and led Isreal into Canaan. Caleb also stood out, although we are not sure that he spent as much time with Moses. What would have helped Caleb to take a similar position to Joshua? We can assume that perhaps they spent time together. The group of twelve men sent out together would have created sub groups and some people were likely to gravitate towards people with a similar mindset to theirs.
The other thing that we know about Caleb, is that he was from the tribe of Judah. Before Jacob died, he pronounced a blessing on his children. The blessing of Judah was that he would have the praise of his brothers. His foot would be on the neck of his enemies and the sceptre and the ruler’s staff would never be removed from Judah. The tribe of Judah represents the lion and are characterised by violent worshippers like David. Jesus who is the lion of the tribe of Judah was born through this tribe. Even when Caleb was eighthy five, there was no slowing him down. “I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming” (Joshua 14:11). The mountain which Caleb and his tribe possessed was inhabited by one of the fiercest tribes in the region. Nevertheless, they took possession of the land and settled his tribe in that region.
From the stories of these two men we can learn a few lessons. Men of valour and strength are produced from spending time in the presence of God and being surrounded by anointed leadership. Generational blessings play a role in the destinies of men and women. The blessing of Jacob concerning Judah rested on Caleb and influenced the disposition of his tribe. The dominant or popular voice or belief is very seldom a godly one. Caleb and Joshua were willing to stand out from the crowd and stood with Moses and Aaron, despite the dominant opinion. It was this single mindedness, boldness, loyalty and character which set Joshua apart for leadership. We have to develop character in order to be qualified to lead. Caleb did not allow his age to define him and was fearless despite his age. Joshua was of a similar age and together they conquered territories and possessed their inheritance.
Published by Anneta Pinto-Young
I am a trained Social Worker who currently provides professional leadership on a programme to support Social Work students and Newly Qualified Social Workers entering the Social Work Profession. Born and raised in Jamaica in a Christian family where my father is an ordained Pastor and Deacon who has served for over 50 years in the ministry. My father is also a trained musician and our family can be described as a musical family. I grew up in a small farming community in St. Peter’s, St. Andrew and my parents also have a small farm. I credit my gift of writing to my father who I watched and listened to over the years as he wrote sermons, poems and other recitals in his capacity in ministry. English has always been an easy subject for me and over the years I have developed an increased interest in writing. I am a Trainer, I sing and have a passion for worship, the spoken word and the free flow of the prophetic anointing. I am married to my best friend Andrew Christopher Young who is an advanced Musician and whose music you can find on YouTube and Facebook. I am a trained Coach and Mentor and I love experimenting with food so I love cooking. I enjoy trying cultural dishes from across the world and I view food as an entry into cultures and languages. View all posts by Anneta Pinto-Young
Published October 1, 2023-October 2, 2023
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about Men of Valour.