Caleb was 85 years old and had experienced much since bringing back one of the two positive reports (out of 12) after spying out the Promised Land 45 years earlier. As a result of lack of trust in the Lord and disobedience, the Israelites experienced decades of hardship and death in their years of wandering. But Caleb wholly followed God (Joshua 14:8, 14) and persevered- holding onto God’s promises when the time to enter the Promised Land arrived. Caleb asked to take the land he spied out 45 years earlier (Numbers 13) and was granted his request. What a marvelous example of faith and perseverance! When God does not respond “instantly”, it is easy to start doubting God and/or making other plans. We begin thinking that there is something wrong with us (or Him, if we are honest) if He doesn’t answer on our timetable. We lose hope and move on. Yet, Caleb never lost hope or sight of that which God promised four decades earlier.
Examining my own life, I’ve given up too often in different areas after growing inpatient because God had not answered in my timeframe. Most recently, this has been true in our current adoption process. Even though many months have passed, I cannot stop praying and trusting the Lord for our next child…in His time, knowing that He has led us to our specific agency and adoption program. Caleb waited 45 years without giving up hope; I need to do the same in our waiting period. Like Caleb, I must make sure that my heart is wholly devoted to the Lord (Joshua 14:14).
As the church in America we are experiencing perilous times as religious freedoms and liberties diminish in the wake of gay “marriage” legalization. Speech and freedoms will be limited as we are ostracized for holding fast to biblical truth regarding sexual morality and marriage. However the Supreme Court rules in the coming weeks, the gates of hell will not triumph over a church on the move, declaring the Gospel. His kingdom will not be defeated. Like Caleb, we need to keep a long-range view, holding fast to His promises, especially in the midst of various short-term “defeats” and difficult times. The wheat will be separated from the chaff in American churches. Many will fall away, but a remnant will remain who are faithful to biblical truth. It will be difficult, but God is faithful. He will deliver us. Like Caleb, we must remain wholly devoted to the Lord and follow Him no matter the circumstances. Our ultimate deliverance will come when Jesus returns and we enter the “Promised Land” of His Kingdom!