Monday, February 17, 2014


Courage Against Overwhelming Odds
“But Caleb tried to encourage the people as they stood before Moses.” “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We certainly can conquer it!” (Nu. 13:30 NLT) “Then all the people began weeping aloud and they cried all night.” (Nu. 14:1) Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a leader and go back to Egypt!” (Nu. 14:4 NLT)
In this devotion we see another example of True Grit and Courage. Many nations have established prestigious awards for displays of extraordinary courage in face of the enemy. The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest military honor that can be bestowed on an individual. One such Medal of Honor was awarded to Cpl. Sergeant Alvin C. York for courage against overwhelming odds near Chatel-Chehery, France on 8 Oct. 1918. Cpl. York fearlessly led seven men to charge a machine gun nest and captured four officers and one hundred twenty-eight German soldiers.
     The Bible records many stories of faith and courage, and two of my favorite heroes are Joshua and Caleb. You, no doubt, know the account of the twelve Jewish men that Moses sent in to spy out the land of Canaan and bring back a report. Do you remember what happened when they returned? They all agreed that it was great land flowing with milk and honey. They even brought back evidence of the bountifulness of the land. When it came time to enter and take charge of the land ten of the spies convinced the people that the people were too plentiful, the cities were fortified, and there were GIANTS in the land. Upon hearing this negative report the people began wailing, hand-wringing, and rebelling against Moses. Their faith failed at a critical moment despite all the miracles that God had wrought for them. Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, voted to go in and take possession of the land. Caleb stood before the people and said, “Let’s go at once to take the land, we certainly can conquer it!” (Nu. 13:30)
     If God were going to give Medals of Honor for faith and courage, certainly Joshua and Caleb would be high on his list. In my estimation they were deserving of being listed in the Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11. How would you like to stand before over two million wailing, weeping, disconsolate, rebellious people and say, “Let’s go in and take the land?” That, my friends, took a whole lot of faith and courage.
     It is well worth noting that of all that generation, only Joshua and Caleb entered the Land of Promise, and received an allotment of their choosing.
     Down through the ages countless saints have paid with their lives for their faith and courage in the face of persecution. Burned at the stake, torn apart by lions, tortured, beheaded, and crucified, they refused to recant their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Believers in different parts of the world are still having to face torture and martyrdom for the faith. In many 

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