The story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land is a fascinating one where God used this journey to teach his people a lot about trusting Him. At one point God directs Moses to send out some men to explore the land ahead. Ten men are chosen and are given the directive to “see what the land is like and see whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many” ( Numbers 13:18) They came back with a discouraging report saying “the people who live there are powerful and the cities are fortified and very large..” (Numbers 13:28) But one of those who was sent, a man called Caleb someone who saw the very same thing, came back with a different conclusion and said “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them’ (Numbers 14:7-9)
Fast forward to many years later and Joshua has led them into the Promised Land and they have taken the land just as Caleb said they could. Joshua is now dividing the land between the various tribes and Caleb approaches him and reminds him of the past how only he and one other of the ten who were sent out came back and were not overawed by the size of their enemies but said ‘it’s not too much we can do this’ (see Joshua 14) . Joshua remembered his faithfulness and gives Caleb the city of Hebron. His trust in God despite overwhelming odds is rewarded.
I believe that from time to time we are faced with similar dilemmas; we can become overawed with the difficult challenges before us and think “it’s just too much, I can’t handle this”. Times like that I am encouraged by the story of Caleb, who, decided that God is bigger than the problem and said “God is on our side, together we can take this land”. Lots of things we face we can’t face alone and weren’t meant to handle on our own.. God is still in the business of growing and stretching the faith of his people. Both individually and for us as a church, with God’s presence and leading we can take on the challenges ahead.
May you know the gentle presence of God and His leading in the challenges that come your way this week. (Isaiah 41:10)