Do you remember your math classes in school? Most instructors, if not all, used examples to help students learn how to solve problems. Examples, or illustrations, are helpful in many areas of study, including the study of character and morals. There are numerous examples of people in biblical history who can help us live a godly life. Some biblical character studies are more familiar than others. Let’s think briefly about Caleb, a man of faith contemporary with Moses and one of twelve men chosen to go into Canaan prior to the planned Israelite invasion of the “promised land.”
These events are revealed in Numbers, chapters 13 and 14 and Joshua chapter 14, verses six through 15. Two of the characteristics of Caleb that stand out are his great courage and his consistent confidence.
Courage is often needed to accomplish what needs to be done, especially when others stand against us. When the 12 spies returned from their mission, Caleb and Joshua were the only ones in the group to insist Israel should proceed with God’s plan to attack the pagan inhabitants as God directed. Neither of these men were afraid to stand alone if needed.
Following the defeat of the Canaanite people, the land was divided among the faithful. Caleb, who was then 85 years old, had been promised the hill country in southern Palestine around Hebron. Even though he was older, he was still physically and mentally strong, and trusted in the Lord’s help to complete the taking of that territory.
Courage is often necessary if we are to be faithful in doing what is right (read “godly”) and please God. The devil wants us to be fearful. But we can have courage, even though we may not always feel like it. God knows we are human, and will help us to overcome fear, even when it’s difficult.
Confidence was also characteristic of Caleb during that period of his life. Confidence is sometimes brought about by courage. This was undoubtedly true with this great Israelite warrior. But his confidence was primarily the result of his trust in the Lord’s help. He had confidence the Lord wanted him to receive his inheritance as promised by Moses (Joshua 14:10-12).
Whatever our task given us by the Lord according to the principles of his word in scripture, we can accomplish it with God’s help, no matter who or what stands in our way.
Today, let every child of God have the courage to do the Lord’s will and confidence in the strength he gives us.