But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.
Caleb, along with Joshua, were the only two people (that came out of Egypt) that were allowed to go into the promised land. All the rest God caused to die in the wilderness.
It is easy to know why all but two of the adults were not allowed to go in. It was because of their sinful rebellion. But what made Caleb and Joshua accepted? It was said that they wholly followed the Lord (Nu. 32:12). They were unquestionably obedient. But Caleb it seems is singled out. The Bible says he had a “different spirit.” He had a spirit, maybe even better then Joshua’s.
Just think, of all the Israelites that came out of Egypt (about 3 million) Caleb, it seems, pleased God the most. God told Moses, “My servant Caleb…he has a different spirit in him…”
Wow! I wonder if Caleb knew what was said about him. I wonder what went through his head when he was told that he and Joshua would be the only two to go into the land. Talk about winning a gold medal! I can’t imagine how special he felt—how strong and hopeful that made him.
But my question is what made Caleb different? What was that different spirit he had? Because I would like to have what he had. After looking at the few verses in the Bible that mentioned Caleb, I came up with three basic factors for Caleb’s different spirit.
1. He had an eager, unhesitant, fearless obedience. Caleb was part of a twelve man reconnaissance team that spied out the land. Ten of the men gave a bad report saying,
We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we…The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight. (Num 13:31-33)
Only Caleb and Joshua had faith that they could take possession of the land. Caleb said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” (Num. 13:30)
So you see, Caleb was eager and fearless, and the reason I think he was also unhesitant in obedience is because God had already told them that He was giving them the land (Nu. 13:2). So it was a matter of obedience that they go and take it.
I don’t know exactly how Caleb acquired this spirit, but I would only suppose that he learned it by practice—that as a child he learned to be fearless and obedient.
2. He trusted in God. He remembered that God intended to give them the land (Nu. 13:2) and he fully believed that He would. He, along with Joshua, said to the people of Israel,
The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey. (Num 14:7-8)
3. He had a tender heart for God. He desired to follow God fully and he hated it when others rebelled. He said to the people, “Do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” (Num. 14:9)