Lest we forget Caleb, he is remembered here along with his inheritance. You may recall that Moses sent Caleb, Joshua, and a number of other spies into the promised land years before. Joshua and Caleb were the ones who came back with positive reports. Caleb had not forgotten that rewards for his deeds had been promised.
“Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old.” Caleb was coming forward to make sure he wasn’t forgotten. After all, many years had passed. Caleb was obviously waiting for this moment.
Our reading opens with an introduction to the land assignments west of the Jordan. We’ll hear more in our next texts. Again, there is confirmation that the Levites would not get their own territory but would be provided for to satisfy their needs. There’s a little less pressure here so that they could focus their attention on being priests and supporting the people from a religious standpoint.
Caleb is part of the tribe of Judah. He was given the city of Hebron as his own. Hebron is located in the land that will be allotted to Judah. Hebron is a city that still exists today on the West Bank, about an hour’s drive from Jerusalem. It has a long rich history as other present day towns that were in existence in Bible times.
What did you think about Caleb’s boldness? I was a little surprised at first, but then I realized this man had been carrying around this encounter with God for years. It may not have been a face-to-face with God himself, but words from Moses who had been in the presence of God. Words from Moses, let alone God’s message through Moses, were monumental and quite memorable. Caleb’s history with Joshua goes back a long way, too. Were they friends?
Was Caleb jealous at all that God picked Joshua instead of him to march his people into control of the Promised Land? That’s an interesting thought. I don’t see any hint of that in the exchanges, but you never know what people are carrying around. You may have experienced feelings like that if passed over for a promotion, a lost job opportunity, or even being chosen last for a game of dodgeball (been there…done all three!)
Think of it. Caleb is mentioned in the Bible! Of course, he didn’t know that he would leave a legacy like that, but he did. We can learn from him not only a deep faith and trust in God, but also a persistence of faith. He waited on God’s timing. We can learn a lesson from that, too! It’s so much easier to rush ahead sometimes and “force” things to happen. That usually doesn’t end as well as if God were leading the way.
So what spoke to you about Caleb? Wrestle with that and let God speak to your heart today.
Let’s pray … Lord, thank you for the reminder today of how you use us in accomplishing your will. I pray that my life and example will be a testimony to others. Continue to build me up and fill my mind with your truth. I want to delve deeper into my relationship with you, God. Help me find the way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.