"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

4/4/13

Introducing Caleb: Faithful to the End

There are some Bible characters where just their name inspires you - makes you smile. They could be big, important, well known ones, but they certainly don't have to be. Ever since I decided to do Bible character biographies, I've known that one particular guy would get featured when I got to him. And well, it's his turn.

Caleb, son of Jephunneh, is of the tribe of Judah. He is first mentioned in Numbers 13:6, and his story continues, on again off again, through the OT narrative to Judges 1:12-20.

Caleb was one of the twelve men sent into the Promised Land to spy it out and report back to his people in Numbers 13. He saw the large and fortified cities, the powerful people - the giants who lived there (Numbers 13:27-29).

But he also saw that his God was more powerful.
 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” Numbers 13:30
But only he and Joshua son of Nun (recognize that name?) believed that. The other ten allowed their fears to overcome them - and convinced the rest of the Israelites to do the same.

So the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years, and nobody over the age of twenty at that time entered the Promised Land - except for Joshua and Caleb. (Numbers 14:30)

And by the time they did enter...Caleb was eighty years old. And it was another five years before he was given the land God had promised him in Numbers 14.

Photo credit
So Caleb received his inheritance at the age of eighty five. And it wasn't handed to him on a silver platter. This octagenarian had to fight for it.
I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said. Joshua 14:11-12
And he took it - because the Lord helped him.

Just picturing ANY 85-year-old fighting off giants successfully puts my anxieties and doubts to shame. I have never had to wait 45 years (or even close to that!) for a promise from God. And most of my blessings don't require a fight like Caleb's did.

But, to Caleb son of Jephunneh, it didn't matter. God was faithful - and so was he.

Are YOU faithful to the end like Caleb? What inspiration can you take from this man?
 
Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths

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