This happened when Moses sent the 12 spies into the Promised Land (see Numbers 13). Ten of them returned and said that the land was as wonderful as God had said. Yet, they also warned that the people were giants and the city walls were massive. There was no way that they would be able to take it … in spite of the promises of their God.
There will always be people who make God look bad.
While they proclaim that He is all-powerful, they will live in defeat.
While they proclaim that He is over all other supposed “gods,” they will live in doubt and fear.
While they proclaim that He sovereignly works out His perfect plan, they will second guess what He is doing in their lives.
So, since they doubted God’s plan, power and presence, they doomed themselves to live in that reality. Their existence for 40 long years was that of wandering through the desert of life. Babies were born and old people died. They ate the same bland food for 40 years. It was a pitiful, boring existence for 40 longs years when they could have had the adventure of fulfilling God’s plan for their lives.
Fast-forward 40 years to Joshua’s leadership when they crossed the Jordan River on dry ground and began to take the Promised Land. Fast-forward 45 more years to a conversation that Caleb and Joshua had (the only 2 original spies who were still alive because they trusted God).
Caleb, who is now 85 years old was long past “retirement” age. Yet, He knew that God’s name had been blasphemed when those 10 spies caused the nation of Israel to doubt God’s plan, power and presence.
So, Caleb asked Joshua for a specific plot of land. The enemy inhabited that land and Caleb wanted it. But it wasn’t just any enemy. It was the giants that caused the 10 spies to doubt their ability to take the Promised Land (Numbers 13:28). It was the sons of Anak!
Well Caleb knew that God’s name had been drug through the mud. It made him sick. So, he determined to do something about it.
Caleb was going to show that with God’s assistance, even a worn out 85 year old man could take down the “sons of Anak!” He wasn’t going to fight those giants for his own glory. He was going to engage them to show that God can do whatever God wants to do. He wanted to show that there can be the adventure of a lifetime when we side with God and trust His plan, power and presence in our lives!
Listen closely to Caleb’s words as he speaks with Joshua, the leader of Israel:
“Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as He promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise – even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.”
So, friend, what does your life do? Does it show others how wonderful your God is or does it cause them to doubt His power … or His existence? Are you more like the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness for 40 longs years or are you like Caleb who wanted to show others how incredible His God was?
These are no small questions. Because, if you read the story, you’ll see that God disciplined the doubters and blessed those who trusted Him.
What can you do beginning today to show others how great your God is?