Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” (Numbers 13:30)
When the spies came back with their report, the people were dismayed and gave into fear and doubt. This was the sense in spite of the fact that Moses had told the, “Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you just as he did for you in Egypt” (Deuteronomy 1:29-30).
They had been witnesses to the fact that God had kept His promise to redeem them from slavery; they saw how the plagues affected the Egyptians, yet spared them. In spite of this — in spite of the fact they had been led through the midst of a sea on dry ground — they would not not believe the LORD could finish the job. By their reaction to the spies’ report, they essentially confessed that, even with God’s help, the inhabitants of Canaan were stronger than they were.
Thank God for people like Caleb who, being inspired by Moses’ words and God’s promise, stood against the majority and tried to calm the people’s fears. His admonition was, in literal terms,“We should go up at once for we shall certainly overcome it.” Later God would say of Caleb that he possessed a different spirit than the others, and this would include those 70 men who had been selected to help Moses bear the burdens of leadership.
I say this because, of those who left Egypt and were of age, only Caleb and Joshua were permitted to enter the land. In other words, it is a different kind of person who, seeing the obstacles and enemy fortifications before them, can stand against a mob mentality and try to inspire courage. Thus we come to this conclusion: to discourage someone is to rob them of what courage they may have possessed. The one who robs them of this does so because they possess no courage. On the other hand, to encourage someone is to give courage to them, which can only be done if the encourager possesses courage in the first place.
It is clear that God’s people must possess courage, along with other beneficial attributes, if we expect to be an overcomer. In other words. even if we possess great Biblical knowledge and have the oratorical skills to share what we know, we must also possess courage — borne out of confidence in our God — if we are to “possess the land.” In this day and age, we will need that confidence in Him, and the courage that goes along with it, in order to be affective witnesses. And so, if your courage is lacking these days, find someone who has it and get encouraged — you were born to be an overcomer.
Blessings and Shalom,