Numbers 26:65

Tom Harding

For the LORD had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.–Numbers 26:65.

Caleb and Joshua were among the twelve men who went into the land of Canaan to spy out the land and people and bring the report to Moses (Num. 13:17). Ten men brought an evil and unbelieving report, they said, "We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we (Num. 13:31). God gave the nation forty years in the wilderness for their unbelief (Num.14:28-35).

Caleb and Joshua believed God and said, "Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it" (Num.13: 30). None that were numbered among the men from age twenty and older entered into the promise land with exception of Caleb (the faithful dog) and Joshua (the faithful Saviour). This is another glorious picture of the gospel of Christ. None will enter into glory but the Saviour and those sinners (dogs) for whom He died (Rom. 5:5-9). Christ the forerunner has entered in for us and every believer will enter upon His merits alone (Heb. 6:18-20).

However, there is another picture of the gospel here. The scripture says of both Caleb and Joshua that they had another spirit (Num. 14:24; 27:18). It was not the spirit and attitude of unbelief, but that of spirit of faith that honors and glorifies God. It is said of Abraham, "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God" (Rom. 4:20-21). Something else is also said of Caleb and Joshua, "they have wholly followed the LORD" (Num. 32:12). Faith and conduct cannot be separated. One preacher of the past said, "Faith is the mother of obedience." Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ puts another spirit and attitude in the sinner, that spirit of love, obedience, devotion, hope and confidence in the Lord (Gal.5: 22; Phil.1: 6; 2:13; 3:3).

It is right and commendable for every believer to fully and wholly follow the Lord with an undivided heart (Col. 3:1), unbridled spirit (John 4:24), unwavering commitment (2 Tim. 1:12), unbroken addiction (1Cor. 16:15) and uninterrupted dependence upon the gospel of the Lord Christ (Phil.3:7-9 4:13). Our Lord said, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it" (Mark 8:34-35).

Tom Harding, Pastor
Zebulon Baptist Church
Pikeville, Ky.


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