Bible Society of South Africa

Twenty-two people in the Bible who had to be more patient than you: Caleb - 14 August 2023

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

10But now, look. It has been 45 years since the LORD said that to Moses. That was when Israel was going through the desert, and the LORD, as he promised, has kept me alive ever since. Look at me! I am 85 years old 11and I'm just as strong today as I was when Moses sent me out. I am still strong enough for war or for anything else. 12Now then, give me the hill country that the LORD promised me on that day when my men and I reported. We told you then that the race of giants called the Anakim were there in large walled cities. Maybe the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out, just as the LORD said.”

Joshua 14:10-12GNBOpen in Bible reader

Caleb’s story began when he and the Israelites came through the Red Sea, witnessing God’s miraculous deliverance from the oppression of Egypt. With hearts full of expectation, they embarked on a journey toward the land flowing with milk and honey, the inheritance promised to them by God.

As Caleb stood on the edge of the wilderness, gazing at the land that lay ahead, he had no idea that he would have to wait 40 long years before setting foot in the Promised Land. Despite the report he and Joshua brought back from their reconnaissance mission, most of the Israelites doubted and rebelled against God’s plan and were sentenced to wander in the wilderness until an entire generation passed away.

Through no fault of his own, Caleb found himself in the wilderness, waiting patiently for the fulfilment of God’s promise. Those 40 years tested his faith and resolve, yet he remained steadfast in his trust in the Lord. Caleb’s faithfulness and patient endurance are evident in his declaration to Joshua: “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.” (Joshua 14:11)

The journey of Caleb, one of the spies sent to explore the Promised Land, is a powerful testament to unwavering faith and patient endurance. It’s a story that reminds us that God’s promises are sure, regardless of the circumstances we face.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as we journey through seasons of waiting and uncertainty, help us to trust in your promises. May we endure with patience, knowing that the fulfilment of your word is certain. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen

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