“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’” Numbers 13:30 (Full context: Numbers 13)
The Israelites were in the wilderness after God delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Several hundred years earlier God had promised Abraham land for him and his descendants to settle in, but the process of getting there didn’t look the way they expected. Had God forgotten his promise somewhere along this rocky road?
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.’” Numbers 13:1-2
God was letting Israel know he had NOT forgotten his promise, that he WAS giving them the promised land, and he wanted them to prepare to take possession of it. In fact, there are some 35 references in the Old Testament to taking possession of the land God had promised to his people. Joshua and Caleb were the only two members of the twelve person delegation to believe that God would provide for them to enter into this place of abundance and settle there. The others looked at the circumstances around them and retreated in fear. Perhaps they forgot God was going with them.
When Jesus arrived on the scene, he spoke extensively of the kingdom of God as a here and now reality. He spoke of it as a place of abundance, a home base from which a person could come and go with confidence and generosity, free of worry, because he would be there with them and give them everything they need. He is still encouraging us to “take possession” of it, to picture ourselves positioned within the security of his kingdom, surrounded by his presence and love for us. What a difference it makes as we interact with the world around us! “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33