Currently, I’m studying the words: unafraid, fearless, bravery, courage, and the like, throughout The Bible. The first person I came across was a man whom I don’t ever remember hearing about, Caleb.
Most of us have heard the story of Moses leading the enslaved Israelites out of Egypt, and when we read this it seems we focus on Moses and rarely notice the characters in the background. Caleb is one of those men. For the next few Damsel’s posts, I will be retelling the story to bring Caleb and his unfailing faith to the forefront.
After the escape from Egypt, the Israelites were in the wilderness of Paran, and God told Moses to send spies to Canaan, the land He’s promised them. The twelve spies set out to check out the land and although they were amazed at the land itself, they were terrified of its inhabitants, the Anak (Giants).
When they return to their fellow Israelites they report to Moses and their countrymen all that they have seen, explaining how fierce and fortified the inhabitants of the land are.
I can imagine the scene. Moses and the twelve spies are standing on a bluff, just above the rest of the Israelites. A small breeze whips past them, stirring the mix of gold and green foliage at their feet. Below them the Israelites are gathered, the elderly and children up front, then the woman. The men stand in the back, every one intently listening. They are already tired of being in the desert, tired of walking. They want to settle and begin to live their lives now that they are free.
Two of the spies hold up a staff for all of the Israelites to see. The crowd quiets as they study what is being shown to them, and pleased whispers begin to work through the crowd as the women in the front relay to the men in the back what the spies are holding. Hanging between them on the stick is a cluster of purple and green grapes, bright red pomegranates, and purple figs. It is a display to prove the fruitfulness of the land they’ve just searched.
One of the spies, perhaps Ammiel or Geuel begins to speak. The crowd quiets once again, listening to what the man have to say. He announces that the land God has promised them does indeed flow with milk and honey, “But,” he says hushing the excited crowd, “its inhabitants are strong, it’s cities are walled and fortified.” A small murmur begins moving through the crowd. “What’s worse is the Anak dwell there.” The murmurs begin to pick up in speed and intensity.
“There are Amalekites in the south,” another spy chimes in.
“Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites are in the mountains,” another announces.
“Canaanites dwell by the sea and the coast of Jordan,” a third adds.
A growing wave of anxiety surges through the crowd as the message of the terrifying inhabitants of their promised land circulates through.
Caleb, the son of Jephunneh of the tribe of Judah steps forward. He holds his hands up in the air, waiting patiently for the crowd to cease its panic. “Let us go up at and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it.” He announces, full of confidence, and faith.
One of the other spies steps forward. “We can not go against these men. Who are we to go up against giants?” He turns from Caleb to the crowd which has begun once again to murmur.
“The land devours its inhabitants,” a formerly quiet spy chimes in.
“We are but grasshoppers when compared to the giants who dwell there,” the original speaker announces as his eyes take in the crowd in front of him.
The crowd erupts with hopeless cries of anguish and sorrow.
God’s might and power somehow forgotten in the moment of panic.
Their promised land can not be possessed.
Here we see that despite the fear of his peers Caleb speaks out with full faith in God. It seems he is one of the few of his generation who has not had some type of panicked amnesia when it comes to the abilities of his Heavenly Father.
Next week we will see just how brave this man is.
Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day and a blessed week.