The year is around 13th century BC (circa 1400s BC) about the Biblical history of prophet Joshua and his general named Caleb who were planning to inherit and take control of the promised land of God. It turns out that despite of what God had done for them in Egypt and all the spectacular miracles and wonders they have seen, yet they were disobedient and rebellious, because the Israelites simply did not have a heart for God. As a result God was greatly disappointed and furious with the children of Israel except with a few righteous men as seen in the opening story of Deuteronomy: 1. 35. Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see the good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, 36. save Caleb the son of Jephunneh: he shall see it; and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed Jehovah. 37. Also Jehovah was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither.
The story hangs on the context of land inheritance because in the Holy Bible land inheritance (the only real estate of that time) is about inheriting the promises and blessing of God rather than about the land size or land situated in a particular strategic area. The blessings of God to Abraham and his descendants is crystallized into the form of land at Canaan geographically to the west of River Jordan, which refers to today’s geopolitical self rule region of Palestine. And the promised land of God is devided among the 9 Jewish Levites tribes and half tribe of Israel.
Joshua and the children of Israel have besieged Canaan from the east, crossing the River Jordan, slowly moved westward and managed to conquer the cities one by one in their path and drove out most of the enemies and let live and made peace with those who surrendered and decided follow to God. Finally they have entered into the promise of God. God is a fair God that ensure those who have followed Him faithfully is entitled to a fair share of His promises, in spite how priestly their decent may be. For our God looks at our heart and not at our appearance as historically recorded in Joshua: 14. 1. And these are the inheritances which the children of Israel took in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers’ [houses] of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed unto them, 2. by the lot of their inheritance, as Jehovah commanded by Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half-tribe.
Although Biblically there is some confusing description about the actual decent of Caleb. Whether is he of pure Israel tribe I.e. Tribe of Judah or of the half tribe I.e. Tribe of Kenizzite as seen in Joshua: 14. 6. Then the children of Judah drew nigh unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that Jehovah spake unto Moses the man of God concerning me and concerning thee in Kadesh-barnea and again in Numbers: 13. 6. Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh.
In terms of appearance, general Caleb was a honorable, respectful, determined, righteous, courageous and fearless warrior and leader with a strong physique and sharp mind as imagined from his words in Numbers: 13. 30. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
Claim for land for God’s salvation and redemption is through faith in God and obeying His instructions. Furthermore, a claim can only be presented to God provided we have fully surrendered in all aspects and followed God full heartedly and persistently as depicted in Joshua: 14. 9. And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy foot hath trodden shall be an inheritance to thee and to thy children for ever, because thou hast wholly followed Jehovah my God. 10. And now, behold, Jehovah hath kept me alive, as he spake, these forty and five years, from the time that Jehovah spake this word unto Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. Trusting in the Lord of our futures and that He will provide for all our needs and He is the strength in our weakness.
Another thing worth noting is that Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb were not doing all these just only for themselves but for their children. Like leaving a worthy legacy and passing on the batton to our generation before we pass on. In today’s context, we need to operate our ministries and meet the need of the communities outside the 4 walls of the church with a hearing heart and to minister to the people of the calling of God with a desired heart. For our God is compassion to those who are poor in the Spirit. Like Caleb in trusting the Lord to serve. We need a positive spirit in all things especially in dealing with people and learn to love people. We need God to give us the anointing of patience and persistence in serving in the church.