No .05 Caleb and the Spies
So, we pick up this story with Moses getting a message from God to send some spies out and check out the land that God is going to give them. Remember that bit, that’s the important bit, the promise was there at the start.
Moses selects the fellas and sends them out on the mission. In this blog I want to drop in some verses from the bible to tell the story:
“When they came to the Eshcol Valley, they cut off a branch with only one bunch of grapes on it. They carried it on a pole between two of them.” Numbers 13:23
This was some bunch of grapes, can you imagine popping down the supermarket and filling the boot up with that bad boy? You would need to get the neighbours to help you get it out the boot and into the house. I also think the bible has a funny way of wording things, these lads decided to name that area on their journey, they called it ‘the valley of the bunch of grapes,’ original lads!
Point is, this all looked really good, so that’s what they reported back to Moses.
“What are the voices around you that you chose to listen to?”
“We went to the land where you sent us. It really is a land flowing with milk and honey. Here’s some of its fruit. But the people who live there are strong, and the cities have walls and are very large. We even saw the descendants of Anak there’.
The land was amazing, almost too good to be true but most of the spies started to show their anxiety and pessimism. Caleb is the first voice we hear of optimism. This is important, it wasn’t just Caleb being unrealistic and foolhardy, remember the promise that Moses started off with? God told them, go and see the land I am giving you! This is yours!
“Caleb told the people to be quiet and listen to Moses. Caleb said, “Let’s go now and take possession of the land. We should be more than able to conquer it.” Number 13:30
However, even with Caleb calling out and encouraging the people to take God at his word and advance, all the others could see where mountains, problems and disappointment.
“But the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people! They’re too strong for us!” So they began to spread lies among the Israelites about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored is one that devours those who live there. All the people we saw there are very tall. We saw Nephilim there. (The descendants of Anak are Nephilim.) We felt as small as grasshoppers, and that’s how we must have looked to them.” Numbers 13:31-33
Giants, failure, fear, anxiety, mountains, difficulty – this is impossible!
I love this stuff. So often I am sadly the bloke calling out the mountains and giants in the way. It is a real challenge to be like Caleb, the men who are willing to remember the promises of God, stand on them with conviction and take action. Decisive action, bold and full of faith in who God is and how reliable His word to us can be.
Image Credit: Word for WORD Bible Comic
The Word for WORD Bible Comic is a historically accurate, unabridged and untamed graphic novel of the Bible with a high view of Scripture.