God is blessing the underdogs and the "no-namers". The name Caleb means Dog and Unsophisticated Servant.
In the Bible, Caleb and Joshua were two of the 12 spies in Numbers 13.
While the other 10 spies complained AGAINST the Promised Land, focusing on negativities and fear, Caleb and Joshua believed God and were ready to fight for what God promised them!
Numbers 13:30-33 reads, 30Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”
32And 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.
33We 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.”
Those fearful men poisoned the minds of God's people because they chose to focuse on the giants and not on the God who is superior to the giants.
Thus, the Israelites became terrified and rebelled against God.
Numbers 14:2-4 reads: 2All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness!
3Why 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?”
4And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
At that point Aaron and Moses fell face down before the people. They were obviously crying out to God because the unfaithful people were about to riot!
However, Joshua stepped in to talk sense to the people:
6Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.
8If 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.
9Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them" (Numbers 14:6-9).
However, the people threatened to stone them. That's right. They were ready to murder those who were in favor of God's perfect will.
As a result, the LORD banned the grumblers from ever entering the Promised Land and vowed to destroy them in the wilderness.
"23not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.
24But 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" (Numbers 14:23-24).
That is why in Joshua 14:10-14, Caleb confronts Joshua about acquiring his inheritance.
“Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness.
So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.
Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”
Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord , the God of Israel, wholeheartedly.
Do you see how God kept his promises to these two leaders? Joshua became appointed as Moses' successor and lead the "free-minded" generation out of the wilderness, so they wouldn't die from a wilderness mentality like their parents!
Then Caleb received his portion of land and was still vigorous to go into battle at 85!
As I looked at the meaning of the name Caleb and its reference to a dog and being an unsophisticated servant, I thought of Jesus and the Canaanite mother.
In Matthew 15:21-28, this mother reached out to Jesus Christ for healing for her demon possessed daughter.
Jesus immediately began to deny her request. He even insulted her by saying in verse 26,
“It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
Nevertheless, this mother humbled herself and replied, “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table" (verse 27).
When Jesus saw her level of humility, He said,
“Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment (verse 28).
The Canaanite mother could have behaved aggressively rude to Jesus, but she didn't. She knew Jesus had POWER and AUTHORITY.
Thus, she honored him no matter how much he tried to reject her.
So, when Jesus smelled the breaking of the alabaster of this mother, it became a pleasing aroma of faith in His nostrils, which led to her prayer being answered.
The other story that came to mind as I read about Called is the story of Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth.
In 2 Samuel 9:1, David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
David and Jonathan were close friends, and Jonathan knew David would be king instead of his father Saul.
In order to find Mephibosheth, David consulted Ziba, Saul's servant.
In verse 3, the king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?”
Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.”
4“Where is he?” the king asked.
Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”
5So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.
6When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.
David said, “Mephibosheth!”
“At your service,” he replied.
7“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”
8Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”
9Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)
11Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s a table like one of the king’s sons.
12Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. 13And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.
What can we learn from these three stories?
1. Trust God
2. Maintain your faith in God
3. Obey God
4. Never grumble against God
5. Humble yourself if you want to be blessed
6. You'll miss your blessings because of pride
7. Never attack God's leaders
8. Stop thinking you know more than God
9. Ask for your inheritance
10. God honors and elevate those in Lo Debar (no pasture) and shepherds them on green pasture for His glory!
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