Caleb

Steve Arterburn

Do you seek the acceptance of others when you make decisions? You’re not alone. Many men seek approval by often siding with the majority viewpoint.  Unfortunately, in our world system, the majority viewpoint seldom gives God and his Word much consideration.

Caleb, however, was a man who saw things from God’s perspective and stood against the majority opinion.  Do you remember his story?  He was among the twelve spies who entered Canaan.  Ten of these spies–a clear majority–believed that the Promised Land couldn’t be conquered.  They came back with stories of impregnable walled cities defended by terrible giants.  They told the people the task was hopeless, letting their fears and the majority opinion decide the course of action.  But Caleb, along with Joshua, differed with the majority.  Caleb agreed that Canaan was well fortified and the task formidable.  But he also believed that even the greatest of enemies was no match for the mighty God of Israel.  He urged the people to believe in God’s promises.

Sadly the people followed the majority opinion and refused to enter the Promised Land.  It’s easy to focus on the obstacles in our own lives–all those things that make change seem impossible.  But you and I can learn from Caleb.  When the situation appeared hopeless, he knew that victory could come by seeking the God who promised victory.  Caleb knew that self-worth isn’t found in the approval of other people, but only in the loving eyes of God.

Joshua

Steve Arterburn

Have you ever experienced the frustration of knowing the truth but no one believed you?  Joshua did’and he had to live with the consequences of this for almost forty years.  

Joshua was one of the twelve Israelites chosen to spy out the land of Canaan.  Their report on what they saw would help and entire nation of people make a decision about entering the Promised Land.  When the twelve spies gave their report, ten said it’d be impossible to conquer the land.  Joshua and Caleb agreed that the task would be difficult, but they urged the people to trust God to help them.  They saw God as loving, powerful, and able to lead them safely into the Promised Land.

The people, however, rebelled and sided with the majority report.  They ran from the responsibility of surrendering their lives to God.  The result of their irresponsibility was tragic.  A whole generation’with the exception of Joshua and Caleb’died in the desert.  

Many of us think we can escape pain by avoiding responsibility and its demands.  What we fail to realize is that we often experience a much deeper pain when we run away from responsibility than we do when we accept it.  Joshua experienced significant pain in his life despite putting God first in his life.  But that pain was used by God to develop him into one of the most effective leaders in all of history.