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Caleb: Faith Conquers

“A man has joy in an appropriate answer, and how delightful is a timely word!” Proverbs 15:23

The sounds of silence must sometimes be broken. Knowing how to hold one’s tongue and having the wisdom to know when to speak is a mark of maturity and a testimony to wisdom.

It was Caleb who spoke first, not Joshua. “Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, ‘We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it.’” Numbers 13:30 Then, after unwaveringly standing strong in conviction beside Joshua and against the other 10 spies who gave the discouraging report, Caleb goes silent. I mean, totally quiet—for 45 years! He watches as the ten dissenting voices are silenced by the plague of discipline sent from God. He packs his tent like all the rest, time after time, for the next 38½ years as those who predicted the death of their children in the occupation of the Promise Land, instead, were buried in the wilderness. That equals out to be funerals for 1,200,000 neighbors over the course of 14,508 days (38½ yrs)—85 per day, 12 working hours per day, 7 per hour.

He witnessed the challenge to Moses by Miriam and Aaron, the revolt of Korah, and the day the earth ate 250 of his followers. He heard the grumbling, saw the brass snake on a stick, and observed the attempt by the “Preacher for Profit” Balaam as he attempted to curse and could only pronounce blessings. He had a front row seat when his soul supporter in the spy narrative was publicly appointed to fill the huge sandals of leadership. He kept his silence as his generation passed from the scene, one memorial service at a time. He watched the river open and shared in the crossing over. He tasted the dust of the crumbling walls of Jericho and experienced the shock of defeat at Ai. First the southern campaign, then the northern campaign and finally the assembly for the division of the land among the tribes. 45 years of holding his tongue, doing ordinary things on ordinary days—waiting, waiting, waiting. But then! “You know the word which the LORD spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me…” Joshua 14:6

The sounds of silence must sometimes be broken. Knowing how to hold one’s tongue and having the wisdom to know when to speak is a mark of maturity and a testimony to wisdom. 45 years and the silence is broken! But the amazing thing was what Caleb said when he spoke. He didn’t ask for favors. He didn’t negotiate for a better deal. He didn’t request a handout or a freebie. No—instead he sought a challenge. One final courageous opportunity was all he asked. An 85 year old warrior on a mission! “Give me the hill country…the Anakim (giants) are there…it has great fortified cities…I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken!”

45 years of silence broken, and the words we hear speak of the faithfulness and power of the LORD. No “selfie” for this seasoned saint! Courage to conquer because he had “followed the LORD God fully.”

“A man has joy in an appropriate answer, and how delightful is a timely word!” Proverbs 15:23

See you Sunday, Church!
Pastor Tom