“But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.” Num 14:24 (Amplified)
God was certainly impressed by Caleb’s conduct. That was the reason He gave His personal undertaking to Caleb that he would enter the Land He had promised to their Fathers. However, He made no such promise to the other spies or Israelites that had disobeyed Him by caving in to pressure. In fact, His only assurance to them was that they would not enter the Promised Land by reason of their disobedience. Hence, from the outset, God has made it quite clear that any form of disobedience always attracts His judgement rather than His blessings.
Nevertheless, we should note that God’s commendation to Caleb was not just based on his obedience. It was qualified with the word ‘fully’. This means that there was not even a hint of disobedience or fractional compliance in the way Caleb chose to obey God. He accepted God’s word as law and complied fully with its directive – both the letter and the spirit. So, what is the reward of partial obedience as we can deduce from the life of King Saul whom God had commanded to utterly destroy the Amalekites for their unprovoked attacks on the Israelites, whilst the latter were travelling to Canaan? Well, the bible says that, “Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; but all that was undesirable or worthless they destroyed utterly. And Samuel said to Saul, I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel” 1 Sam 15:9; 26 (Amplified)
Saul feared the people, caved in to pressure and consequently chose to disobey God. God responded by rejecting him as king over His people. His service to both God and man was no longer valid. From that moment onwards, Saul embarked on a downward spiral that ultimately led to his destruction. However, that was not the end. His partial obedience had a devastating impact on his descendants, who were denied access to the throne and were mostly destroyed as a result of their father’s disobedience. In the same way Caleb’s full and uncompromising obedience positively impacted his own descendants, which enabled them to inherit the land God had promised their father.
So, what about you? Is your life fully submitted to God or are you presently giving Him your partial obedience? Are there some sins that you coddle up and label as your weak points rather than accepting God’s grace and power to deal with and remove them from your life? Understand that the acceptability of your service both to God and man is dependent on your qualified obedience – full, prompt, sincere and true. May I say that just as in the cases of these two men, there are always consequences to obeying God. Both men were subjected to immense peer pressure, one caved in and incurred God’s wrath. The other stood His ground and won His commendation. Full obedience is what counts with God. So, resolve today to do just that.
Lord, I call to you today. Please expose and dethrone every idol that I have exalted above you and reclaim your exalted position in my life. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you. May I not mortgage the future and legacy on the altar of present convenience in Jesus Name. Amen.