The Right Choice
"And Joshua blessed him, and gave Caleb the son of Jephunneh unto Hebron for an inheritance" (Joshua 14:13).
In verses 10 to 12 of the same chapter 14 of Joshua, God brings us by His Word a very precious teaching when He says: "Behold, I am this day fourscore and five years old. I am yet as strong as in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, so is my strength now for war, and to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day: for thou heardest in that day that the Anakims are there, and that there are great and fenced cities. Perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out, as the LORD hath said".
These texts teach us a very precious matter; they show us a right choice. Certainly if we were asked which part of the land we would choose, we would prefer the countryside with a beautiful river. But the wise Caleb chose a mountain with hostile giants and fortified cities. Why would a man of 85 choose such a place to dwell with his family?
Caleb was a man experienced in the knowledge of God, and what he feared was that his family would fall into spiritual idleness, forgetfulness of God. In the fight against the enemies, he would exercise faith and victory in his God. This is shown by his testimony when he says: "I am still as strong as the day Moses sent me". It is true that he was not speaking of physical strength, but of his spiritual strength. The faith he had was not in his strength, but in the strength of the Lord (Eph. 6:10-11).
God teaches us that the excessive commitment of the children of God to the world, without being sober, vigilant, makes the Christian life unfruitful (Lk. 8:14). If God were to ask whether we want tribulation or prosperity, it is clear that many would choose prosperity, but the wisdom of Caleb teaches us that this would be foolishness, for "the trial of your faith worketh patience. But let patience complete its work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:3-4).
Wisdom is not to flee from tribulations, but to know Him who in everything leads us in triumph. Wisdom is to endure trial with patience, so that after we have passed, we may receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12, Rom. 5:3-5).
Which will you choose: the showy fields of the Jordan, all well watered like the garden of Eden, and end up like Lot in Sodom (Gen. 13:10), or, like Caleb, the mountains of Hebron with the hostile giants and their walled cities? "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren throughout the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after ye have suffered a little while, may he himself perfect, stablish, strengthen and establish you" (1 Pet. 5:8-10).