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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 22, 2024

Read to Read …Again


Daily Reading:  Numbers 26-27

 

Numbers 26:65

For the Lord had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

 

Faith has its benefits. Two men exhibited great faith in the face of strong and overwhelming opposition. These two men, Caleb and Joshua, were two of the twelve sent to spy out the particulars of the promise land. All twelve of these men found the land to be wonderful, filled with milk and honey, a land where anyone would be happy to live. Yet, there were also Anakims… giants in the land. Ten thought there was no way the Israelites could conquer the giants.  Two, Caleb and Joshua, believed that God would give them the victory. They said: If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. Numbers 14:8-9

 

They displayed great faith at a time when it was very unpopular. So unpopular in fact that all the people wanted to stone them, end their lives, all because they acted in faith while all the rest acted by sight and human reasoning. These men stood true to their God, but they paid a price.

 

The events of Numbers 26 that we read today were around forty years later. Because of the lack of faith among the citizens of Israel they wandered in the wilderness for forty long years. Always moving, always taking down their tents, putting up their tents, struggling against the hardships of the day, the dangers of the night, not to mention the continual rebellion against the leadership of Moses and the rule of God. For these forty years our two heroes of the faith had to take every step Israel took, all the time they could have been thinking… “It didn’t have to be like this!”  But now, four decades later, all the men who wanted to live by sight have died in the wilderness. Only these two, Caleb and Joshua were allowed to enter the promised land. Think about that. Not even Moses and Aaron were allowed in. Only these two giants of the faith.

 

Their faith brought them great benefits. Joshua would become the great leader of Israel after Moses, Caleb who said, “now therefore give me this mountain” received that mountain. He also was a great leader in Israel. Yes, a thousand times yes, faith has its benefits. Those benefits of faith are to be received in the two realms of our existence, now today, and throughout all eternity.

 

The next time you choose to live by faith and face great opposition, the next time you are overruled and have to live through the disastrous results of your family, workplace, church, or country of not living by faith; the next time you suffer when you shouldn’t have to because of other’s lack of faith; remember Caleb, and Joshua. Or as you read today the daughters of Zelophehad who had faith to bring their case to Moses and were rewarded by being able to inherit their father’s portion of the promise land.  Or of the countless others in the Bible that simply trusted God and tried to live in faith while surrounded by those who rejected God and, in their estimation, childlike faith. Remember Caleb and Joshua. Two outstanding men of faith in a land filled with those who only walked by sight and fleshly impulses.

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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