Today’s Bible reading is Numbers 13 and Acts 25.
The LORD could not have been more clear:
“Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel.” (Numbers 13:2)
Twelve Israelite spies spend forty days scoping out the Promised Land. They transport Exhibit-A of the land’s fertility back to their people: a single cluster of grapes so large it must be carried on a pole between two men. Can you imagine how delicious those grapes must have looked to people who had been on a steady diet of wilderness manna?
Then came the spies’ report:
“We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.” (Num 13:27-29)
Translation: it’s amazing, but there’s no way.
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.” (Num 13:30)
What made Caleb so confident? He remembered God’s promise before the spies were even sent: “I am giving the land of Canaan to the people of Israel.”
Skeptics and cynics continue to speak up, even among the people of God.
It won’t work. We’ve already tried. It’s someone else’s turn. We already know how this is going to turn out. There’s no way. We’re not able. Not yet. Maybe someday. We’re not big enough, strong enough, rich enough, talented enough. Our best days have come and gone.
As skeptics and cynics continue to speak up, we need Calebs who are willing to respond and remind with faith-filled confidence. If God has said it will work, trust with all your heart that it will work. Boldly stand on the promises of the LORD, even if the majority is slipping into despair. If God is on our side, “we are well able.”
Surrounded by doubters and pessimists, be a Caleb today.