Posted By Nan

Joshua 14:6-15, Numbers 13-14.
Caleb was from the tribe of Judah. He was chosen to represent the tribe of Judah when God sent the 12 men to explore Canaan. The men were to explore the land and report on whether the people were strong or weak, numerous or few; whether their towns were fortified or without walls; what the land was like, whether it was fertile or poor quality soil and whether there were trees. They were also asked to bring back some produce from the land so that the people could see what it was like.
The 12 men explored the land for 40 days then they returned. They reported this was a rich, fertile land with abundant crops. However, they noted the people were powerful and lived in large, fortified cities. Ten of the men said it was not possible to defeat the people and possess the land. Caleb told the people they should go and take the land because God would be with them. But the ten men spread dissent amongst the Israelites so they rebelled. Despite following God for so long in the column of smoke, and being supplied with food so faithfully, they still did not trust God or acknowledge His ability to give them victory. Only Caleb and Joshua refused to lose faith in God. They stood in front of the assembled people and tore their clothes in distress at the people’s lack of faith. They reminded the people how God was with them and would give them victory if He commanded it. For their pains the people planned to stone them.
God’s response to this behaviour was to speak to Moses of the contempt the people showed by refusing to believe in Him despite all the signs and miracles He had given them. God decreed that none of those adults alive at that time would live to enter Canaan. Only Caleb and Joshua would be saved. The people were to remain in the desert forty years, one year for each day the 12 explored Canaan. Only then would their descendants be able to enter Canaan. In addition, God struck down the 10 who had initiated the rebelliousness.
The people were shocked at God’s displeasure, but they still did not seek God and His will, but instead decided what God wanted to see. Despite Moses’ warning they would fail, they went out to enter the land and were defeated by the people of Canaan.
If we jump forty years to Joshua 14, we see Caleb receiving his promised inheritance in Canaan. Judah attributed Caleb’s reward of the land as being because he followed God wholeheartedly.
I have mentioned Caleb before in this blog series, and I have spoken of following God wholeheartedly. What about what God described as the contempt those who did not follow Him showed? If following God means having faith in Him and trusting Him, then as God describes it, not following Him is to show contempt. Everytime we don’t wait for God but jump in, like the Israelites deciding to go up and try to enter the land after God forbade it, we show contempt for God. Every time we try to solve something on our own, every time we fail to wait for God’s answer, these are the times we show contempt for God.
The realisation that me doing it my way was showing contempt for God was quite a shock. I had never thought of my actions that way. I wonder if you have? We can look at the Israelites lack of faith and think how silly they are, but are we any better? How much contempt do we show God in our daily walk?
This is a challenge for all of us. Let us today pay careful attention to the times we don’t seek God and show Him contempt. Let us learn to be alert and quick to humble ourselves before God in repentance. Yes, Jesus has paid the price for our sin of contempt, but in following Him we are still required to seek to be the best we can be and acknowledge the times when we are not. God will look more favourably on our willingness to acknowledge our shortcomings then on our pronouncements of how faithful we are.
 

 
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Nan
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