By the time you get to Numbers 13 in your study of the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness, you should understand that the hearts of many of the people were still set on selfishness instead of on the Lord. God had saved them from slavery in Egypt, given them food to eat, kept them safe and still they whined and complained. So it is no surprise that when the representatives from each tribe were sent to do reconnaissance and bring back a report of what Canaan was like, most of the spies were negative and reported that there was no way that the Israelites could be victorious. Yes, the land was good and the food there was plentiful, but the enemy were giants. Thus, they were reluctant to go forward. Only Caleb from the tribe of Judah and Joshua from the tribe of Ephraim encouraged the people to continue forward, as lead by the Lord.
Caleb’s positive attitude did not come because he was confident in his own ability or in the ability of the warriors with Israel. Rather, he was confident in the might of the Lord. His certainty was strongly rooted in his faith in God. I want to be a Caleb in a land of naysayers who all want to stay right where they are, comfortably ensconced in a wilderness while God provides food, shelter, and clothing that never wears out. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? Of course, there is something wrong with that! The Israelites did not wander for forty years in the wilderness just to be content staying there! They were sent to occupy the Promised Land and it was ready for them to march in and take, but because of the unbelief and reluctance of some of the leaders, they had to stay in the wilderness for more years. Of those leaders, only Caleb and Joshua got to go into Canaan.
Sometimes life seems like a wilderness journey, but we get comfortable with those circumstances and although we don’t like them too well, we don’t want change to happen because we don’t know what the outcome of the change will be. Either we trust God to take us out of the wilderness into the new place that He has promised us or we don’t. Either we are a Caleb who sees God taking care of things for us or we stay where we are, moaning over the circumstances but reluctant to try to change them. Again, I want to be a Caleb. I don’t want to be stuck in the wilderness, moaning and whining and refusing to move forward. I don’t want God to leave me there because of my unbelief. Sometimes I have to take the time to pray for help with my unbelief and a new infusion of faith. Keeping records of past answers to prayer helps restore me and get me ready to move on. Do you want to move on with God or stay comfortably where you are, even though that is not God’s best for you? I know what my choice is and I hope that you are aware of the repercussions to making the wrong choice.