The Caleb of the Old Testament is one crazy guy. I mean hasn’t this man heard of retirement? You would think after waiting 45 years to gain the land that the LORD told him he would receive one day…that when it came time for the Israelites to divey up the territory…
Caleb would just kinda point to a lush green valley and say “That land over yonder looks good to me.”
But NO! This wholehearted character points to a peak in the distance and says, “Give me the mountain! Walled cities, giants and all!”
Now Caleb…let’s not be hasty…think about this for a minute…your 85 years old…you’ve walked a lot of miles in those worn sandals….you really wanna fight more battles…really?
We first meet Caleb in the BIBLE when he is 40 years old.
He is the leader of the largest Israelite tribe…the tribe of Judah.
Back when the LORD told Moses to send some men out to spy out their promised land…Caleb went along with 11 others. They traveled many, many miles on that expedition…thoroughly checking out the land and all that was in it. When the 12 returned from their long hike they brought news to their fellowmen…the land looked good. It certainly was abundant. It overflowed with milk and honey. The returning spies showed off the large, succulent fruit of the promised land which hung from the poles between them. Pretty good for the most part…but they did encounter one little problem the city of Hebron. This city was perched on the crest of a mountain chain, hosting strongly fortified walls around it…and homing giant wild men within…namely the descendants of Anak.
You know the story. Joshua and Caleb were the only 2 spies that encouraged the Israelites that they should go in and posses the land just as the LORD told them to. (Joshua 14:7-9)
But fear prevailed that day…and without faithful support behind Moses the spies venture was a failure. Since the Israelites decided against the LORDs direct command to take the land…the LORD became angry with HIS people and vowed that none of their generation would enter the Promised Land, only Caleb and Joshua. (Numbers 14:30)
So GODS people wandered in the wilderness for 40 years waiting for the unfaithful to die off. When it was time to take possession of the land there were more opportunities for obedient faith as they fought battle after battle to gain GODS inheritance. Finally, the day came when the enemy is cleared out enough to begin dividing up the territories amongst the 12 tribes. Here is where Caleb steps up and reminds Commander Joshua of the promise made to him by Moses “The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.” (Joshua 14:9)….and here’s where it gets wild….Caleb continues with his request…“So give me the hill country (mountain) that the LORD promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the LORD is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the LORD said.”
Wild, crazy. wholehearted 85 year old Caleb. This aged guy is requesting to go back to the very-scary-giant-filled-walled-city-land that was the primary reason he and his family wandered around the wilderness for 40 years…and he wants to make it his own! Caleb plans on taking the city with the help of his GOD just like the Israelites should have done 45 years before! And today is Caleb’s day!
I wonder if Caleb was reciting in his mind his own words to the Israelites many years before, while he waited for Joshua’s response?… “Do not rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”…that’s what Caleb said then…and that’s what Caleb meant now…Caleb was seizing with both hands… another chance to show off the power, the faithfulness, the goodness and the victory of his GOD!