- Denise Kohlmeyer
Caleb had “another spirit within him” (Numbers 14:24).
What was that spirit? It was the spirit of one who was willing to go against the crowd and stand firm in his faith and belief in the Lord God Almighty. It was a spirit that enabled Caleb to withstand the pressures of his peers, who themselves faltered in their own faith to the point of compromising.
Here’s some background: Caleb was one of 12 spies Moses sent into Canaan at the beginning of the Israelite’s wilderness wandering. Like the other 11 spies, Caleb saw the fortified cities and the “giants” in the land. But apparently something got lost in translation when they all returned and gave their report to Moses and the people. Caleb listened, with growing perplexity, no doubt, at the other 10 spies’ fear-filled report and saw the terror in the people’s eyes.
But then Caleb stepped forward “to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. ‘Let’s go at once to take the land,’ he said. ‘We can certainly conquer it!’” (Numbers 13:30).
How did Caleb know this? He had a spirit of utter confidence in God to conquer the Canaanites. His was a spirit that was resolute in God’s power and might and promise-keeping. He did not feel threatened or afraid of the Canaanite “giants.” He knew God was bigger, stronger, and more than capable of routing them from the land. Caleb, after all, had witnessed God’s defeat of Pharoah, first through the 10 plagues then at the Red Sea. What was conquering Canaan after seeing such supernatural phenomenons as those?
The Lord rebuked and judged the people for their lack of faith, but praised Caleb. “Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” (Numbers 14:24).
Six times, Scripture says Caleb “followed God fully.” Literally, he “was filled with pursuing” God. His heart was so set on following God that it didn’t have room for doubt or fear.
Wow! To have a spirit like Caleb’s, one that is wholly surrendered in faith in God Almighty! And we certainly need this kind of spirit right now, don’t we? Because, like the Israelites, we’re currently coming up against people—whether in our personal or work lives, in academia, in the political arena, in the world at large—who are seemingly “giants” and appear to be stronger than we are. We, too, might succumb to fear, feeling like “grasshoppers” compared to them and mistakeningly believe they will succeed in overpowering us. But we must stand firm in our faith, like Caleb, even when others around us are faltering in theirs! It helps to remember the God of the 10 plagues and the Red Sea, to remember the God who redeemed two million Israelites out of bondage in Egypt.
More importantly, to remember the God who redeemed you and me from the bondage of our sins and graciously transferred us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. We should remember daily what He did for us in the past, and what He is doing for us in the present! We should begin to cultivate a Caleb spirit!
Be blessed. Be encouraged.