“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Send some men to explore the land of Canaan,which I am giving to the Israelites.'” Numbers 13:1-2
The story of Joshua and Caleb offers some incredible insight into decision making that I have completely overlooked until recently. To set the scene, God wants to lead the Israelites in the promise land with the leadership of Moses. God tells Moses to send 12 scouts to explore the land of Canaan and bring back a report on what they saw of the land and the people. The scouts explored for 40 days and then came back and gave their reports in front of Moses, Aaron, and the whole community. Of the 12 reports only two were positive. Joshua and Caleb believed that since God has promised them this land, despite the reports from the others, they could indeed conquer this land. But unfortunately the bad reports spread and the people rebelled. This very much displeased God and because of it, He made sure that Moses and all the people would wander for 40 years and never enter the promise land…the only exceptions being Joshua and Caleb. And as for the 10 spies that gave bad reports? “They were struck dead with a plague before the Lord.” (Numbers 14:37)
Now let’s fast forward 45 years. Joshua and Caleb lead the people into the promise land and they begin to divide it amongst the people. Caleb requests his land from Joshua with this powerful statement:
“I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.” Joshua 14:7-8
Did you catch that? Caleb brought back a report based on his convictions and not what the circumstances around him were showing. The others reported on what they felt in the natural and the ramifications were grave. I believe, however, that this statement has powerful implications for the decisions that you and I are facing today. In the natural the reports we may be getting could be negative. “The doctors are saying this…”, or “My boss said that…” “My bank account looks like this…” or “My future is so unclear…” I’m sure all of us are facing difficult decisions today, and some of you may feel stuck. Make your decision based on your convictions, based on what you know is the truth…God’s truth. Our emotions and circumstances can lead us away from what God has called us to do. Lean into God’s Word and His promises today, moving forward with those decisions.