The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight" (Numbers 13:30-33).
In the knowledge that every human being walks on clay feet (other than the One who walks on resurrected, nail-pierced Feet), I am not big on having heroes. If I were forced to choose one, however, I'd be hard-pressed not to consider Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, of the tribe of Issachar, of the nation Israel. He entered the Promised Land with Joshua because he trusted God and saw giants as the Lord's stepping stones. How did Caleb so know the Lord that it led to such confidence and strength? In specific terms of personal history, Scripture does not inform us. We do now this, however: "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). The Bible also refers to Caleb in one of its greatest affirmations of a trusting heart: "But My servant Caleb, because he had another Spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it" (Numbers 14:24). Caleb knew God. He knew Him in living, personal terms as birthed and enlivened in him by the Word of God and the Spirit of God. He did not possess the Bible, or the permanently indwelling Spirit, as made possible and actual in New Testament believers after the atoning work of the Lord Jesus. Caleb, however, did know God, which led to stalwart faith and courageous faithfulness. "Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).
Caleb also knew that the worldly, devilish, and fleshly giants who threaten us and make us feel like grasshoppers in our own sight are as nothing in relationship to the eternal, infinite, and living God. Nothing! Indeed, the very air our enemies inhale to bluster their threats are provided to them by the God who "giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25). How well Caleb knew this, and how much better we should know it by our possession of the Bible, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and 2,000 years of church history. All confirm that Satan's war on the saints always ends with his seeming victories being transcended and overwhelmed by the triumph of the risen Christ. We may look and feel like grasshoppers in our own sight and in the sight of our enemies. We nevertheless cast the shadow of a far larger Combatant, namely, "the Captain of our salvation" (Hebrews 2:10). How well indeed Caleb knew this, and how we must join our God-enabled brother of old in order to fight the good fight of faith from the vastness and victory of our God. "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ" (II Corinthians 2:14).
I suspect Satan trembled every time Caleb awoke to a new day. The devil's tremors resulted not from Caleb, but rather from the fact that Caleb so trusted the God whose enemies are infinitesimal in comparison to Himself. Caleb knew so little compared to what we know. He did not have access to our Lord's power to the same degree we possess. But he knew enough to see giants in the light of God. How little they become when seen in the shadow of the Almighty. And yes, how truly heroic Caleb seems not because of himself, but because He so well knew to trust his Hero.
"Fear thou not, for I am with thee. Be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee. I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness."
"By Thee I have run through a troop; by Thee I have leaped over a wall."
(II Samuel 22:30)
"And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray Thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
(II Kings 6:15-17).
Weekly Memory Verse
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue."
(II Peter 1:3)
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