What did the Lord say to Moses concerning Joshua and Caleb forty-five years earlier? “Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt … shall see the land … except Caleb the son of Jephunneh … and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the Lord” (Num. 32:11–12). Ten of the twelve men sent to search out the land discouraged the people of Israel by telling them the inhabitants were too strong to defeat. Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes and said it was “an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it to us” (14:7–8).
But the majority prevailed, and Joshua and Caleb had to wander in the wilderness with their unbelieving compatriots for forty years before entering Canaan. Now Caleb claims his inheritance: “Behold, the Lord has kept me alive … Now therefore, give me this mountain” (Josh. 14:10, 12).
What magnificent endurance and energy! But Caleb never forgot that he had followed the Lord in fellowship with Joshua. It is hard not to think they were the two who carried the cluster of Eshcol’s grapes between them (Num. 13:23). Like so many servants of God in the Bible who worked in pairs, they were “you and me” believers. It is a happy feature of Christianity to share in the service of God, to benefit from each other’s strengths as Paul and Barnabas did in Antioch (Acts 11:22–26). The preacher says, “Two are better than one … and a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Eccl. 4:9, 12). Yes, the secret of a successful partnership in Christian service is to be “laborers together with God” (1 Cor. 3:9 kjv).