A Dissenting Voice

“But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it”” (Numbers 13:30).

In Numbers 13 after the spies returned from spying out the land, 10 of the 12 spies gave an evil report. “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are”(Numbers 13:31). At the words of the 10 spies the people rebelled against Moses. “And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt”” (Numbers 14:4).

Despite the frustration expressed by the people and their angry threats, Joshua and Caleb maintained their report regarding the land. “If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey” (Numbers 14:8). Joshua and Caleb were the only two men brave enough to stand with Moses. They refused to go along with the majority of the other spies and offer a bad report.

“Then all the congregation said to stone them with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the people of Israel” (Numbers 14:10). God was so angry with the rebellion of the people that he promised that they would not live to see the promised land. None of them except Caleb and Joshua would live to enter the promised land.

That entire generation of people died in the wilderness due to their rebellion and it was their children who made it into the promised land. Joshua took over leading the people after Moses’s death and together, he and Caleb led the people into the promised land. That was their reward for staying in faith and having the integrity and the strength of character to maintain a godly perspective.

Joshua and Caleb taught us the importance of having an independent mind. In other words having a mind of your own and being willing to maintain your perspective despite the disagreement of others. Caleb and Joshua were not concerned about the majority. They were confident about what they had seen and were willing to maintain a different perspective. This is even if their perspective attracted the anger from the crowd. You don’t have to bend your conviction to fit in with others. Standing out is what we have been called to do for God.


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