Joshua and Caleb Entered the Promised Land
Joshua and Caleb were chosen with ten other men to spy the Promised Land and give a report to Moses and the congregation of Israelites. After 40 days of exploration, the spies gave the report, “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there” (Numbers 13:27–28). And, Caleb encouraged the people before Moses saying, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it” ( verse 30).
But instead of being encouraged, the people were afraid of the inhabitants and raised their voices and cried forgetting all the mighty works that the Lord did in delivering them from Egypt. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron saying, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt (Numbers 14:2-4).
At that point, Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them” (Numbers 14:6-9).
But the people refused to believe in God and wanted to stone Caleb and Joshua. In fact, all the congregation said to stone the two believing spies with stones. But the Lord interpreted the deadly plans against His faithful servants and His glory appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel (Numbers 14:10).
The Lord was displeased with the people’s unbelief and said to Moses, “because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it” (verse 22-23).
And God added that all those that left Egypt but didn’t believe, they will surely die in the wilderness (every person that is 20 years and older) except for Caleb and Joshua. The Lord said to the unfaithful Israelite that “Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun” (verse 29-30).
God’s word came to pass. After Moses’ death, from all the original congregation that left Egypt at the Exodus, only Joshua and Caleb reached the Land of Promise and inherited it because of their steadfast faith in the Lord. The Lord declared, “Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they have not wholly followed Me, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the Lord” (Numbers 32:11-12). The rest of the people that didn’t believe they could reach the Promised Land received just what they believed and perished in the wilderness.
In His service,