Summary: In a time of trial and seemingly impossible circumstances, Caleb tried to rally the people with a call to go up....
Let Us Go Up…
Dr. Russell K. Tardo
I. Let Us Go Up
Text: Numbers 13:30 “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it…”
Scripture Reference: Numbers, chapters 13 and 14.
And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. [Numb. 13:25]
After 400 years in Egyptian bondage, the Hebrew people were embarking on their wilderness wandering. They had seen miracle after miracle, yet they doubted, they murmured and they complained. After the twelve spies went into Canaan to spy out the land, ten returned with a report of fear and the desire to return to Egypt rather than go on into the land of promise.
What we will look at in this study today are the characteristics of those who wanted to return to Egypt.
A. The Influence of the Fearful:
Fear is contagious. Almost the entire camp was influenced and led astray by the words and actions of only ten men. In spite of the fact that Caleb and Joshua spoke with confidence that the army of Israel could defeat the giants, still the people preferred to heed the evil report, i.e., the fear-filled report. Consequently, the majority of the camp was more greatly influenced by the words of men than they were by the promises of God.
32And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
B. Insufficient Knowledge of God and the Word:
The individual’s personal knowledge of God, His Word, and the promises was superficial and shallow. These folks were not personally grounded in the Word of God. God gave the Israelites a number of promises:
1And the Lord said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: 2And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: 3Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.
20Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21Beward of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. 22But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies and an adversary unto thine adversaries. [Ex. 23:20-22]
The promises God made to the people were great and marvelous promises, but obviously, the people weren’t firmly settled in their hearts. Had they been settled, they would have gone into the land without grumbling and complaining.
24Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word: 25But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord. 26Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness: 27To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands. [Ps. 106:24-27]
C. Unstable in Their Ways:
The people were unstable and they had a history of instability. The account in Numbers, chapter 14, tells of the people’s complaints and wanting to return to Egypt, but that wasn’t the first occasion they had shown symptoms of instability, seeking to return to Egypt. These people were so erratic; they complained and murmured against Moses even after having been eyewitnesses to the great Red Sea crossing. [Suggested reading: Exodus, chapters 15, 16 and 17.]
D. The Faithful Two:
As bad as it was with the report(s) from the ten, Numbers, chapter 13:30 and Ch.14, tells us of two that had another spirit, i.e., Caleb and Joshua. They were obviously settled in their convictions, having built up their faith in God. In spite of what seemed to be impossible conditions, Joshua and Caleb believed God would grant them the victory over the giants and confessed their faith to the multitudes. Consequently, they were the only two men blessed by God to enter the Promised Land.