The book of Joshua tells the story of Israel’s desert tribes conquering their nation’s territory, their future homeland. Taking possession of the Promised Land, Caleb from the tribe of Judah showed remarkable boldness. Joseph’s tribes on the other hand – not so much! In a meeting the two tribes of Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim) came to their leader Joshua complaining. Reportedly, they had the following dialogue (Joshua 17:14-15):
Tribes of Joseph: “Why have you given us only one portion of land as our homeland when the Lord has blessed us with so many people?” [or: “We’re entitled to more acreage, why do you cut us short?”]
Joshua: “If there are so many of you, and if the hill country of Ephraim is not large enough for you, clear out land for yourselves in the forest where the Perizzites and Rephaites live.” [or: “People of Joseph get going! You’ve got a job to do!”]
In the end, it didn’t look like the tribes of Joseph were very happy with Joshua’s reply. But then there was the tribe of Judah with an entirely different take on the situation. Judah’s delegation led by Caleb requested a certain hill country, which happened to be the home-turf of giants. Here is a snippet of the conversation Caleb from the tribe of Judah had with Joshua (Joshua 14:12):
Caleb said: “So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak [aka giants] living there in great, walled towns. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.”
Spoken like a true conqueror! There is a noticeable difference between the whining tribes of Joseph and the bold lion-tribe of Judah.
God generously pours out His gifts on His children. He has gifted us with many talents, showered us with His kind mercies giving us a new chance every time we mess up; and while God’s love is absolutely free and not for sale, He wants us to fight for the good things He holds in store for us. As much as God is passionate about us He also likes to see our passion for Him in our daily endeavors. We want to embrace the adventure God puts in our way. Remember Caleb’s spirit. We can do it! If God is for us, who can be against us? Heaven is waiting. What are we waiting for?
“Heaven is waiting just past the horizon just over the mesas across the great divide and faith is blazing this trail that I ride on up this mountain I’m praying I have the strength to climb – Heaven is waiting” (Rich Mullins & Mitch McVicker)