March 18, 2006

Read Joshua 14

In Today's Reading:

Canaan divided among the tribes; territories given to Judah, Caleb, Ephraim, and Manasseh

The Anakim (giants) had been driven out of Hebron by Joshua, perhaps five years before this time (Joshua 10:2-11; 11:21-22). Now they were back and in control of the territory — undoubtedly, with a much greater determination to retain the land promised to Caleb.

At Caleb's "retirement" age of 85, he recounted to Joshua how God had faithfully brought him that far: Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to espy (spy) out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly (wholeheartedly) followed the LORD my God (14:7-8). Caleb's unshakable faith can be seen in his report as a spy: I brought him word again as it was in my heart. He spoke his convictions as he faced the opposition of the other spies and the people. He stood alone with Joshua. We are sometimes afraid to speak about our faith when our convictions are unpopular; but the person blessed of God speaks what is in his heart on spiritual issues.

Caleb boldly said: I wholly followed the LORD my God. His decision was unaffected by what others said or did. The loyal few who have their hearts fixed on the Lord and trust in His Word are not afraid to speak out or move forward to accomplish the Lord's will regardless of what others say or do.

Caleb's courageous spirit reminds us that they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31). The truly blessed are faithful to God.

Yes, most of us will face giant "Canaanite difficulties in life as well as friends who attempt to discourage us. Surely our faith ought to exceed Caleb's, inasmuch as it is Christ . . . at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword (war)? . . . in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us (Romans 8:34-35,37).

Word Studies:

14:9 sware = promised under oath; 15:3 fetched a compass = circled around.

Christ Portrayed:

By Caleb, who followed the LORD (Joshua 14:8,14). Our Savior said: Lo, I come . . . to do Thy will, O God (Hebrews 10:7).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Rep. Howard Coble (NC) · Country: Moldova (4 million) southeastern Europe · Major languages: Rumanian and Russian · Limited religious freedom · 66% Romanian/Russian/Bulgarian Orthodox; 3% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; 2% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Pour out your heart in prayer to the Lord for your children (Lamentations 2:19).

Optional Reading: John 8

Memory Verse for the Week: Joshua 1:8