Yep, you read the title correctly. I’m a gold digger. I’m proud of it. I need the T-Shirt.
But I almost wasn’t.
I’m still writing my study in the book of Joshua. I’m at the point where it records his conquests. I wrote out the lesson, then had about a paragraph left before starting a new chapter. I skipped the last paragraph and started reading the new chapter when the Lord said, “You missed a few lines. Go back.” So I did.
Go back with me if you will, to Joshua 11:16-23. I want to focus on verse 21. I need to take you on a journey, that goes back to Numbers 13:16-33. It’s a journey of a young man, named Joshua. Son of Nun. (That is not a play on words or a typo. Nun does not = None.)
Joshua and eleven other men are commanded by Moses to go spy out their Promised Land. Eagerly, they take off on their mission, but when they come back only two of them (Joshua and Caleb–who was forty at the time) wanted to go in and possess the land. They trusted God. They believed. Faith was a road sign on their journey to their promise.
But the ten other spies were afraid and they put fear into the hearts of the people with their response, “We are not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we…There were 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.” Numbers 13:31-33.
Because of their lack of faith, God sentenced them to forty years in the wilderness. All the men able to go to war would die and because God is faithful, even when we are not, He would allow the second generation of children to enter the land plus Joshua and Caleb. Numbers 14:26-35.
Fast forward to Joshua 11:21-22. “And at that time, Joshua came and cut off the Anakim, from the mountains…None of the Anakim wer left in the land of the children of Israel…” Joshua, wasn’t playing around. He was finally getting to do what he wanted forty-five years earlier. (Forty years in the wilderness and five years of war to slay all the kings who had come against him. Joshua 11:18 and Joshua 14:10.)
Those are the facts.
What was the story?
I wonder what it was like for Joshua and Caleb all those years in the wilderness. Late at night, did Joshua weep alone in his tent for the promise he knew was his and yet couldn’t touch. Did those years creep by, one heat filled day at a time?
Young Joshua begged–pleaded for the people to have faith and go in to take the land. So much, they wanted to stone him and Caleb. “But it’s ours! We can do this! God has given us this great promise!”
And then the sentencing. The righteous were sandwiched in between the wicked. They had to wait. A blessing was coming. But not for forty more dry, dusty filled years later. “God, this wasn’t my fault! I wanted to go. It’s just not fair that I should wait too.”
Joshua learned under Moses’ tutelage. He became skilled at leading, military strategy…and how to honor and obey God. Even if his nights may have been spent fighting bitterness towards those who had been disobedient and wicked.
Then forty years were up. It was time for Joshua to do what he’d wanted to do so many years ago, with Caleb–now eighty-five but strong. Picture them, sweaty and exhausted from war–yet never falling back. Pressing on. The last giant falls with a thud and only the dust rises. The men of the second generation shout in victory, but Joshua falls to his face in the sand and weeps. Caleb takes his place on the ground next to him.
“Why are you weeping? We should be dancing! Singing! Celebrating!” The army yelled and then stood dumbfounded.
They were dancing–in their hearts. They were singing–in their spirits They were celebrating–through tears. Tears that came from a long, arduous journey. At last. Joshua proved, those giants couldn’t stop the work of the Almighty God.
Caleb clasps his hand, pulls Joshua to his feet and says, “I am now eighty-five. I’ve waited forty five years for this. Yet I am not weak. God has made me as strong now as I was then. Now. Give. Me. My. Mountain.”
And Joshua blessed him and gave him Hebron formerly known as Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim). Was.
How long have you been waiting for a promise? What are you doing while you wait? Life isn’t fair. Sometimes we feel stuck. Wandering. But your mountain is your mountain. God isn’t taking it away from you.
Tell your giants, “I’m. Coming. For. You. Give. Me. My. Mountain.”
What are you studying? Share a few golden nuggets!