Caleb may have been the first to symbolize the sheepdog connection.
Caleb was called to serve. His name has origins relative to that service. The name means one from meager origins, lowly esteemed like a dog, but operating with reason and courage. One said the meaning of the name reflected the dual attributes of insight and courage needed to selectively and surgically tear an enemy apart.
A sheepdog. He can be your best friend or worst enemy. Loyal to everything & everyone important to you; deadly to those that threaten what or who you love.
Caleb made his grand entry into history as a determined 40-year-old supporter of Moses. Caleb recognized a man worth supporting and signed up. He and Joshua led S.E.A.L. Team Six of the era.
Numbers 13 & 14 provide the first glimpses of his character as one of 12 commissioned by Moses for that historical 40-day spy trip into Canaan.
- Was a chosen leader (Numbers 13:3, 6 & 16)
- Had a positive command presence (Number 13:30)
- Was publicly criticized by other chosen leaders which led to an outcry (Numbers 13:31-14:5)
- Stayed wholehearted in the face of widespread opposition (Numbers 14:6-9)
- Endured mounting and hostile resistance from those he served (Numbers 14:10)
- Had God in his corner (Numbers 14:11-12 then 20-24)
- Was a survivor (Numbers 14:38)
Those seven attributes read easy. It only takes 10 minutes to read through the whole 13th and 14th chapters. It was hell to live. Try to graspe the collision of agony and vision in Caleb’s mind at that point in Chapter 14, verses 6 & 7 when he ripped his clothes in front of the people.
For 45 years following that showdown year of exploration, Caleb never made the news except by reference to that era.
Then, when he was 85, he showed up again with that same resolute vigor that had shaped their nation. In the 14thchapter of Joshua, Caleb boldly summed up his magnificent reemergence by reminding Joshua that Moses had recognized his wholeheartedness (14:8-9). Then I can imagine his ending statements of proclamation as he stood and pointed to the hills proclaiming, “I am still as strong today … I’m just as vigorous … now as I was then. Now give me that hill…!” (14:10-12).
Think About It
I love that man. Be wholehearted!