"After that, the men of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites living in the hill country,the Negev and the western foothills. They advanced against the Canaanites living in Hebron (formerly called Kiriath Arba) and defeated Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai. From there they advanced against the people living in Debir (formerly called Kiriath Sepher)"
Remember when Moses sent out the spies. God had called one person from each of the 12 tribes to go and spy out the land to see what it was like. Caleb, from the tribe of Judah was called. Caleb went and saw through eyes of faith. While everyone else saw giants, he saw opportunity for God to show off. While everyone started complaining (which is as contagious then as it is today), Caleb spoke up and silenced the doubters.
"But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them. That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?" And they said to each other, "We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt." Numbers 13:31-14:4
As the fear mounted and discouragement grew through false reports of the land being not that great anyway, again Caleb spoke up and called the people to trust God. "Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, "The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them." Numb.14:6-9
He called them to obedience when it wasn't popular. And wouldn't it be great if everyone had dropped to their knees in repentance, "Oh Lord, we are sorry for calling You a liar and putting our own agenda and desires above Yours!" Well, instead they try to figure out how they can stone Caleb. But guess what! God shows up to protect faithful Caleb. "But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all the Israelites" Numbers 14:10
When we step out and act according to what is right, according to what God said, He will come through for us. And God thinks that's a big deal. Check this out: "But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it." Numb. 14:24 God, bragging about Caleb. Wow! Want to be someone God honors? Step out and do what's right. Take Him at His Word and act on it.
So, bringing it back to Judges. Here we find ourselves, with Caleb in the Negev once again. Again, picked out by God to go on this mission. Again facing the "giants" Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai. This time getting to see God's Word become reality before his very eyes, being brought into the land, seeing his enemies defeated.
In Day 1-Delighting in God as the Know-er of All Things of this Glimpse of Glory Series, I brought up the issue of not being chosen. But now, seeing the bigger picture, what joy! God chose Judah because there was a prophecy to be fullfilled through Caleb of the tribe of Judah. It wasn't about how great Caleb or the tribe of Judah was or wasn't. It was all about God revealing Himself as the Faithful One. The Keeper of His Word. The Prophecy Fullfiller.
Are there situations right now in your life you're seeing through the lens of it being about you? Ask God to help you step back and get a glimpse of Him and how He is revealing Himself through your situation.
Because of how things have worked out to be right now, right this moment, what about God's heart and character is able to be seen?
One last quick thought
And guess what? "From there they advanced..." Judges 1:11 For so long they couldn't go any further because they had disobeyed God. They kept wallowing round and round. But then they finally obeyed God in the original thing He called them to do and they moved forward, they advanced!
Are you getting to see God move you forward in trusting Him with new things? If not, perhaps it's because you haven't obeyed Him in what He's already called you to. Spend some time asking Him if there are things He led you to do that you have ignored Him in.
Day One- Delighting in God as the Know-er of All Things
Day Two- Reliance
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