“CELEB” or CALEB – CULTURE
“Bearing the Torch” is a great honour. However It can often be about attracting attention to our priviledged opportunity, or to the worthy cause we represent. Both good & worthwhile things. But without the dazzling lights, how many would carry the “Flame” through our land in Obscurity, as so many of our Christian Trailblazers have.
Dog or DieHard
Caleb, first mentioned in Num 13:8, is my Torch bearer. Setting an example to us all. His name in Hebrew can mean, Dog or Wholehearted. And as we see from his lifestyle, he is the epitomy of wholeheartedness.
Outsider or 100%er
Caleb couln’t claim a long Jewish lineage. His Father Jephunneh, was a Kennizzite. One of the Canaanite tribes, not from a long line of Hebrews, as Paul could later claim. But of Pagan stock . It seems Caleb’s father Jephunneh married an Israelite woman, possibly of the tribe of Judah. This enabled Caleb to be born a true Israelite of a Jewish mother, and therefore able to represent Judah as one of the 12 spies sent to spy out Canaan.
Blue blood or Blood bought
Many folk get their self esteem from their Family name. Others from their position in society, the Job they do, or even the desireability of their postcode. Caleb had no such claim. A first generation Israelite, with a Canaanite father. Some may have called him Dog because of his mongrel ancestory. But his “Full-on” faith elevated him far above lack of human prestige, to be called “My Servant” in Number 14:24. So anyone who feels an outsider, take note of God’s appraisal of man. It’s the heart, not the heritage, higher education, or heap of stones we live in.
Prominence or Passion
Joshua & Caleb both voiced a good report as returning spies from Canaan, unlike the other ten who stirred up hostility against Moses. However it is Caleb who speaks in defence of his leader, Joshua is strangely quiet. However it is Joshua who is chosen for prominence as Moses’s successor. Yet God sees Caleb’s passion for Him,and rewards them both as the only survivors of the 40 year wandering.
Though his contemporary Joshua is clearly God’s chosen leader of the people. Caleb the giant slayer, guards his heart, and gives no room to demonic giants like Jealousy, Envy, critisism, or Self-pity. How many christian leadership struggles have ended in bitterness & seperation. Instead he can hear a different drum-beat, and holds his course for the Honour of God & growth of the Kingdom (Israel).
Fame or Failure
It was Andy Warhol who said “in the future, every one will be world famous for 15minutes”. Many see fame as their only pursuit in life. The passion for prominence, “Celeb” status is a driving force at almost every level of UK culture today. Even pervading church life with a need to be seen as important.
Unknown yet Well Known 2 Corinthians 6:9
While Joshua’s exploits are well documented as Deliverer of Israel, little is heard of Caleb. These two men are unique as the only two 80 year olds in the whole country-a clear 40 years older than anyone else. This established them as God’s source of wisdom for the people, what a priveledge to be the only ” Old Guy’s” in the nation. Caleb supported Joshua’s leadership, without contending for or usurping his position. He respected God’s appointing. For Caleb not to be famous wasn’t Failure. The Lord never leaves, forsakes, or forgets.
Give me this Mountain Joshua 14:12
In his 85th year, Caleb could say ” I am as strong now as when I was 40 & perfect vision too”. He asked to be given the mountain where the Anak (giants) lived. Still slaying the sons of Satan as a Grandpa, Caleb is a true spiritual warrior. He knows the pleasure of God upon him, wether men can see it or not. He has learnt to Honour God in his heart & his ways. And the Lord has ensured that His Servant is remembered, though happy to serve in obscurity, with little recognition or “Celeb” status. The Lord sees His Quiet Warriors & still rewards them.