The Six Million Dollar Man was one of the top spy TV programs of the 1970s. Lee Majors starred as Col. Steve Austin, a man who had been severely injured and rebuilt with nuclear-powered bionic limbs and implants. He was also an Intelligence Agent (SPY).
Now, Col. Steve Austin was a vital part of the TV show. Without him, well, there wouldn’t have been one. He was also essential to the people that acted with him in the show (their characters). He saved their lives at least once an episode!
I hadn’t thought about this show for a long time until the other day. I walked into my bedroom, and there it was on the TV screen. Talk about a walk down memory lane!
The Twelve Spies
Anyone who has read any of my articles knows how my mind works. I see something, and it gets my old clunker on top of my shoulders thinking about something else. Then I start thinking about a bunch of other things, and I can’t sit still until I write about it.
So, today we are going way back in time, back to when God’s people sent spies out to spy on the land of Canaan. See, God had promised His people the land of Canaan. But, the kicker was, they had to go in and take it from the idolatrous people who currently inhabited it. This is where the twelve spies come in.
Numbers 13:1-3, we are told that the Lord told Moses to send a man (ruler) from each of the twelve tribes to spy on the land of Canaan. In the following few verses, we are given the names of the men who were selected.
In Numbers 13:17-20, Moses sends them with specific instructions. Let’s read what they were told.
17And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: 18And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; 19And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; 20And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.
Ok. That seems pretty straightforward. The spies had to spy on the people, check out the land, and report back with some fruit. Got it.
The twelve spies do as they’re told, and they are gone forty days. Now, let’s check out what they reported back to Moses in Numbers 13:25-29.
25And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. 26And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. 27And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. 28Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
Hmmm. The spies report good things about the land. They brought back fruit and said the land was good.
But what did they say about the people? Turns out they had a bad report. They said the people were strong and that they saw the children of Anak. They thought the people were a lot bigger and stronger than the Hebrew people. I guess they were forgetting the MOST critical piece: they had God on their side!
Spies Worth Much More than Six Million
Out of the twelve spies, only two of them believed God. Only two had enough faith to go up and take the land. Today, we will look at one of them. Namely, Caleb.
Turn with me to Numbers 13:30-33.
30And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 31But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Caleb wanted to go up at once. Not later on down the line. Not next month or year. At. Once. His faith in God was evident. This screams that Caleb loved and believed in God. That his character was as it should have been.
He was a man of courage. He was ready to do as God asked without delay. He was a man who believed in God but also believed God.
Numbers 13:30: And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
He stayed firm even when others tried to hurt or even kill him.
Numbers 14:10: But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.
He was not afraid to stand against the crowd.
Numbers 32:11-12: Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.
He was a rewarded servant of God’s. He didn’t falter in his belief nor did he turn to the left or to the right.
Joshua 14:13-14: And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.
Numbers 14:24: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
Now, this is the kind of spy I want to be. How about you?
The Law and Obedience
Caleb lived under the law of Moses. He will be judged based on that law. We live under the law of Christ. We will be judged based on that law.
But, guess what? It all boils down to obedience. That’s the key. Loving God more than all else. Loving Him so much that we are willing to obey Him no matter the cost.
Today, we must be obedient by following the pattern of the New Testament Christians.
Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32)
Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31)
Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30)
Confess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32)
Be Baptized (Galatians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)
Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)
As always, reach out if you have questions or would like to study. I would be MORE than happy to speak with or study with you.
Next time, we will look at ways we can be the kind of spy Caleb was. Even in our modern-day world!
Until Next Time!
In Christian Love,