[Caleb said,] “Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken. – Joshua 14:12
So, Joshua said to the sons of Israel, “How long will you put off entering to take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you? – Joshua 18:3
In these two verses we see sharply contrasting positions within the trans-Jordan Israelite community. The latter of the two finds Joshua sharply rebuking seven of the tribal leaders for their complacency in claiming the land that God had promised to give them. He had told them to possess it, but after much time, they had still not obeyed God’s command.
In the former, we read the words of Caleb demanding that he be allowed to claim that which God had so clearly promised. At 85, he had consistently believed God’s Word and, as one of only two adult survivors of Israel’s wilderness wandering, couldn’t wait any longer to see the divine promise fulfilled.
Thank God for the faithful “Calebs,” men and women who are filled with the Holy Spirit and willing to (fearlessly and unashamedly) act upon God’s Word for His glory. And while you are giving thanks for such as these, pray also that their tribe will increase, for today there are many of God’s promised mountains that still need to be claimed.
Our goal cannot be a timid, powerless survival; it must be the role that Christ called the Church to play, that of a loving, authoritative, healing, and compelling influence upon the world. Lacking such a turnabout, we may rightfully anticipate the virtual disappearance of the Christian Church in this nation. – George Barna