Most are familiar with the inspired record of Joshua and Caleb — the two spies who returned with a good report and opposed the evil report of the ten spies (Num. 13) that caused the people to cry out in despair to God and murmur against Moses and Aaron (Num. 14:1-4). But we often fail to consider the reaction of Israel toward Joshua and Caleb when they opposed the evil report and courageously stood on God’s side.
And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. (Num 14:6-10)
Joshua and Caleb not only opposed the negative words of their fellow spies, or even the negative reaction of the people, but they stood courageously in the face of death!
While we may never face the threat of being stoned to death, we nevertheless must be strong and courageous (Josh. 1:6-7) to stand in a world so openly opposed to the truth of God.
We must courageously stand on the truth of the infallibility and inspiration of the Bible. One of the most frequent attacks against the Bible is that it cannot be infallible. The argument is as follows: “Since the Bible was written by men, and since man is not infallible, then the Bible is not infallible.” Such opposers to the Bible refuse to acknowledge the Bible’s inspiration. Paul wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”
(2 Tim. 3:16). To the Corinthians Paul affirmed,
Now we [inspired men] have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God (1 Cor. 2:12).
Throughout the Old Testament we learn that the prophets spoke, not their own words, but the words of God
(Jer. 1:9-10; 2 Sam. 23:2; 1 Pt. 1:11). Thus Peter affirmed,
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Pt. 1:20-21).
If the Bible was a production of man it would be just to say it is infallible. It the Bible was the production of man the fallibility and error contained therein would no doubt be easily shown! But the Bible is not a production of man! It is the verbally, plenary, infallible, inspired Word of God that lights our paths (Ps. 119:105), guides our steps (Jer. 10:23) and keeps us from sin (Ps. 119:11). If we will but have the courage to stand on the truth of the infallibility of God’s inspired word we will not only change our lives but the lives of those around us.
We must courageously stand on the truth of the one church. In a country where “offensive” speech is strongly condemned by popular culture, and a spirit of “let’s just agree to disagree” or “we’re all going to the same place just taking different roads to get there,” dominates the religious mindset it takes a great measure of courage to stand on the truth of the one church. An examination of the origins and doctrines of the Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, and all other Protestant denominations and/or Evangelical sects that have spawned from the corrupt seed of manmade tradition, and it is evident that none individually nor all collectively represent the New Testament church! Jesus said “I will build my church” — singular (Mt. 16:18). Paul instructed that the body of Christ is the church of Christ and that there is “one body” (Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4; 5:23). The Lord adds to the church those who obediently obey the gospel (Acts 2:47) and there is no ecclesiastical assortment of religious bodies from which He chooses! There is one church and the saved are added to that one church — the church for which Jesus shed His blood, which originated according to the eternal purposes and prophecies of God, and which follows the pattern and doctrine of apostolic teaching. In the religious climate of our society it takes great courage to stand on the truth of the one church!
Joshua and Caleb were game changers because they courageously stood when the majority spoke against God and against His promises. So courageous were these men of faith that they were willing (and able!) to stand when their life was in jeopardy. These men became game changers in Israel. If we will follow their example and courageously stand with God we can also make a difference for God’s people today. –
The Midtown Messenger, Midtown Church of Christ Weekly Bulletin, February 17, 2019.