A year into the exodus the Israelites are struggling to grasp the game plan, a lot of new rules all very new. Moses is definitely a leader of mystic proportion but the people are a challenge, they whine a lot. Priests have been established to basically bridge the gap between God and these new laws. Don’t miss the drama just because there’s not a musical score to this picture.
God desires that they live a devoted life filled with honor and dependence on Him alone. The ROI is JOY! But, God is demanding dependence in Him alone. Moses has been stretched like a rubber plant in January, and he erred, his brother Aaron, has erred as well and neither will be allowed to enter the Promised Land.
When they reach the border by the Jordan River they send 12 men to scout it out. On there return, 10 guys are scared spit-less of the other team in Canaan. Two guys, Caleb and Joshua, believe they should depend on God believing they can win! They’re tough guys both Caleb and Joshua.
The whole congregation gets scared after hearing the report from the 10 and the whining begins. In short, God says after hearing their whimpering words. I was there at the exodus, the Red Sea, my presence is in your midst, the care I’ve given you; and you don’t trust me! “Not one shall see the land which I promised on oath to their ancestors”. (Numbers 14:23) God however, remembers the trust of Caleb and Joshua. How much does it mean to be a trusted man? “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;” (Isaiah 12:2)
The cornerstone of character is integrity, the “who” you are when no one is watching. The whole of Israel was caught up watching the ten; no one was watching Caleb or Joshua. They both had to suffer while God rose up a new generation. Augustine said: “Patience is the companion of wisdom.” You have to imagine that both Caleb and Joshua thought at times of the process speeding up or speeding it up? Their patience will culminate with an even greater courage.
40 years go by and the generation that refused to depend on what God desired to give them, finally breaths their last. The only two grown men who walked out of Egypt full of fight, that would enter the land, promised to their ancestor Abraham, will be Caleb and Joshua. Integrity, wisdom and courage marked their paths. G.K. Chesterton once quipped, “The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it. Ain’t it so!