Joshua 14:12: So now give me this hill country of which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the LORD said.” (ESV)
Caleb made a demand of what he was promised. This is instructive. It shows that because something was promised does not mean that it will be delivered. That is why we pray.
Because something is rightfully yours does not mean it will be delivered to you. The point is, the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12). Jesus said: ask and it shall be given to you, knock and the door will be opened to you, seek and you will find. You need to make the prayer effort. In the place of prayer, we become co-creators with God of what he wants to do in our lives.
Caleb was promised that particular spot of land because he was courageous enough to say that because God was with them, the people can take the Promised Land.
Being faithful to the word of God, to gain the promise, he waited for forty years. The bible says that we should follow those who through faith and patience obtained the promise (Hebrews 6:12). Caleb exhibited both. He kept his eyes on the prize for forty years throughout the journey in the wilderness, and the children of Israel wandered throughout the wilderness. He waited upon the lord, he thought about the promise, he fixed his heart on the word spoken. He did not allow God’s word that he believed to slip away from him, he meditated on it. And when the time came, he asked for what he was promised to be given to him.
But from the focus verse, we realise that getting the promised piece of land was more than asking for it. God has given it to him, and Joshua (the leader of Israel) may agree with him as he did, but there are enemies on the land who had to be driven out, and that was going to take some effort. He was going to have to put his courage to work. He was giving to face his fear, confront the fear of the unknown, the fear of his inadequacies.
God was greater than all his fears. But since he heard from God who promised him and he refused to be shaken. He was focused on the reality of the unseen, not allowing the “seen” reality of the sons of Anakim to shake him from his faith in the word of God.
He fully realised that it will take God being with him to achieve his aim. Nevertheless, as far as he was concerned there was no option except to take hold of the word of God.
The Promised Land was a big deal for the children of Israel. In all their history, wherever they stayed had been temporary. Their father Abraham was asked to leave his father’s house to a land which God will show him, he did that, but never really got to put his root down anywhere except purchase a burial ground (Genesis 23:1-18).
Later the people of Israel, who was the grandson of Abraham, went down to Egypt, and they were tenant of the people there. And when God sent Moses to bring them out after hundreds of years they entered the Promised Land. From that background, we can understand that Caleb getting his hand on a piece of choice real estate was a big deal.
He got it by a combination of his own faithfulness, God’s promises, his own demand, and his courage to take action towards conquering the land.
When Moses sent twelve spies to spies our Cana, there was a report that the sons of Anakim were there and because of that, ten of them said that conquering the land of Canaan was something that cannot be done (Numbers 13-14).
But Caleb said no, and the one who said no was promised the every land that was scary to others. While the ten had small vision, Caleb had a big vision.
The small vision of the naysayers negatively affected them, they died soon after they gave their negative report, while the “big vision” Caleb whom God said had another spirit in him lived for the forty years of the journey of Israel in the wilderness and eventually conquered the land, and gave some of it as a dowry to his daughter when he married.
People will be affected by the size of your vision, big or small. Your big vision or small vision will affect people. The big vision of Caleb made a big dowry available for his daughter when he married her off. And his courage continues to impact many even till today.
But for those who had small vision – the ten spies, though they died, and their small vision affected the hundreds of thousands of the children of Israel who bought into their ill-advised vituperations against the will and word of God to conquer the Canaan. They kicked against the plan of God, taking the advice of the ten. So, small vision will affect many and big vision will also affect many.
You need to choose to see with God’s vision, see big things, see big possibilities or be bent over in fear of the unknown, rejecting the known word of God. That is the way things work; that is the protocol, what you allow to take root in you will affect many, either for faith or fear. The writer of the book of Hebrews said that we should be watchful lest the root of bitterness grow so much as to defile many (Hebrews 12:15). What you allow to grow in you will affect those who come close to you.
Whatever influence you submit to can affect those around you. We have opportunity to affect others in time and eternity as we stand with God. Jesus sent you out to be his witness for that same purpose. His single stance with God, in agreeing to bear the sin of the word, made impact for both past, present and the future. The bible says that he will see the travail of his soul and will rejoice. That is the protocol, who you are will affect others, so be the best you can be, and make the bests choice you can make.