…For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God. So that day Moses solemnly promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God.’ (Joshua 14: 8b-9, NLT)
Nearly all of the book of Joshua is the telling of how the remaining children of Israel arrived in the Promised Land. If you recall the story of them being in the Wilderness, God told all those who were over the age of 20 that they would not be allowed to journey into the Promised Land because of their disobedience, including Moses.
Joshua, who was now in charge, lead the children of Israel in and, at the Lord’s command, began to conquer the enemies in the land. They faced strong men and fortified cities, but God was on their side, and they were victorious in their efforts. God had driven out great and powerful nations for them and no one was able to defeat them.
After conquering the lands, Joshua, along with Eleazar the priest, and the tribal leaders began allotting grants of land to the tribes of Israel. Prior to entering the Promised Land, Moses sent twelve spies to scout out the land to see what God had promised. Out of the twelve, only two (Joshua and Caleb) came back with a report that they were confident that Israel could take on the enemies there and experience victory despite what looked to be the contrary to the other ten. Those ten saw giants, so they were done!
In reading Chapter 14, one thing really stood out to me. As the land was being distributed some 45 years later, Caleb requested his portion. He brought to Joshua’s remembrance that Moses had sent him to explore the land of Canaan. He reminded him how those who went in with him scared the people from entering in because of what they witnessed. Caleb, along with Joshua, however, brought back a good report. As a result, according to the Scripture above, he was promised a grant of land, also, because he ”wholeheartedly followed the Lord”. That same phrase was attributed to Caleb three times within just six verses. I wonder for how many of us would that expression be made. He had remained faithful to God all his days, so he was given the land he was promised.
As Joshua drew close to his death, he gathered together all the major leaders of Israel and rehearsed in their hearing all the things the Lord had done for them and how He had finally given them rest from their enemies. Joshua warned them not to deviate from the Book of Instructions, not to take on the practices of other nations, and certainly not worship or even mention the names of their gods. God cautioned that those things would be a snare and trap for them.
We live in a world that is so gravely tainted by sin with people practicing all kinds of damnable things that go against God’s principals. It takes a strong commitment to serving God not to be drawn away by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life, or as 1John 2:15-16 states, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world (NKJV).
I need to examine my life and ask myself, “Do I wholeheartedly follow the Lord? Do I passionately, unreservedly, enthusiastically, totally follow Him.” I would like be able to declare a very convicted yes. However, realistically, I’m aware that even though I have named the Name of Jesus for decades, I’m still tempted to deviate from what I know as truth. I’m sure we can all reach back in history and find areas of compromise in our lives, and perhaps not so far back.
I praise God that Jesus has redeemed us because we cannot “wholeheartedly follow God” without His intervention. Thank God for His grace and for His mercies that are new every morning. As much as Caleb followed God, we have an advantage over Him: We have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us whom we can access anytime we need to. He is our Comforter and Guide as well as the Revealer of Truth. When we are tempted to stray from doing what we know to be right, He’s there to gently remind us of God’s love for us and help us to either resist the devil, or to help us get back on track when we blow it.
If we’re determined to do so, Holy Spirit will help us wholeheartedly follow the Lord, our God. It’s a comfort to know that as He helps me to examine my life through the Scriptures; and when I see myself in opposition to it, Holy Spirit can bring correction and conviction to get me back on course. I want my life to be one of full surrender to God. What about you? (Pam)