By Bob Hoekstra
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 . . . and Joshua . . . for they have wholly followed the LORD. (Numbers 32:11-12)
Those who live by humble faith enter into the fullness of God's provisions of grace. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble . . . we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand" (James 4:6 and Romans 5:2). Joshua and Caleb illustrated this truth by entering the Promised Land.
As we have seen, God's great salvation is both "from" and "unto." "We have passed from death to life" (1 John 3:14). Also, this life we have been given is to be experienced in abundance. "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Israel's calling by the Lord from bondage in Egypt to fullness in the land pictures this truth. "So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:8).
Joshua and Caleb were the only adult Israelites in that first generation who went "into the fullness" of God's calling. They alone went into the land. "Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land . . . because they have not wholly followed Me, except Caleb . . . and Joshua." Joshua would not only enter the land, he would lead Israel into God's victory. "Then Moses called Joshua and said to him . . . you must go with this people to the land . . . and you shall cause them to inherit it" (Deuteronomy 31:7). Caleb would not only enter the land, he would still be strengthened by faith even in his old age. "Here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war" (Joshua 14:11).
Unlike Joshua and Caleb, the other Israelites followed the Lord's calling out from Egypt, but they did not follow Him into the land. Many Christians repeat this same error today. They have followed the Lord as He led them out of the spiritual death of sin and guilt. They are "out of Egypt." They are forgiven of their sins. They have new life in Christ. However, they do not follow the Lord on "into the land." They do not follow by faith into abundance of life. They do not follow the Lord in humble dependence for transformation, for fruitfulness, for a life of spiritual victory.
Dear God of Israel, Thank You for bringing me out of the Egypt of my own spiritual bondage. Now, as Joshua and Caleb did, I long to follow You wholly into the fullness that you desire me to walk in, in Jesus name, Amen.