Have you ever felt overshadowed by someone else? Even though you have given it your all, done the best you could, remained faithful and full of integrity, someone else has gotten the glory? How do you feel about that person? How do you feel about yourself?
Caleb is a man who could have easily fallen into that category. Back at Kadesh-Barnea he and Joshua stood, side by side, in front of Moses and declared that, despite the giants—the “Anakites” that were in the land—they believed God would deliver the land to the Israelites. Joshua and Caleb…together…equal. But, who gets the big commission? Who gets all the ink and all the credit? Joshua.
Where’s Caleb in all this? He could have been jealous of Joshua and started a rebellion. There was definitely ample opportunity to spark a movement of unrest among the perpetually grumbling Israelites. Yet, He didn’t. Notice how he is described in this chapter. He is 85 years old. He has been a faithful warrior for God, one among the many. Now, after the battle is over, he is as strong as ever. What does he want? Glory, fame, power? No. He just wants to fight for God.
What does God give him? Hebron. To us, Hebron is just a name, but it is so much more than that. Hebron was the highest city in the entire land. Hebron was where Abraham had hung out in the past. Hebron is where David would establish his first capital in later years. But, most importantly, Hebron was where the Anakites lived. Remember the Anakites? They were the giants that everyone feared. When it was time to divvy up the land, Caleb was given Hebron. The Anakites were still there.
Just try to imagine this eighty-five year old man, full of vigor and fervor for the Lord, storming into Hebron and once and for all, in a preview of David vs. Goliath, defeating those giants and establishing Hebron for the Lord. What a glorious day and what a fitting end for a humble hero.
The lesson from Caleb is simple. It doesn’t matter who is in charge and who is getting the “press” in the human realm. The battle belongs to the Lord. Just remain faithful. Keep your eyes fixed on God, not on the approval of men. Stay faithful and strong, and, in the end, you will slay giants.