Familiar mountains welcomed me, their leafy trees a green blanket across the rolling terrain. I breathed a sigh of relief. It wouldn’t be long until I was home.
I love to travel. I spend several weeks a year driving throughout the southeast, visiting friends and family. It’s a special treat when I fly to Phoenix and hang out with my friends there, and it’s a fabulous blessing to join some of them in Israel every March. But there’s something comforting about being in familiar surroundings. It puts my spirit at rest.
As I finish teaching through Joshua, I wonder if Caleb experienced that same kind of spiritual rest when he walked through the hill country of Canaan. The fertile pastures and bountiful springs impressed him.
“This will be perfect for my family,” Caleb must have mused.
Only one thing stood in his way: the giant Anakim. But Caleb wasn’t worried; they were no match for his God.
As it happened, the Anakim weren’t the only things that stood in Caleb’s way of settling his family in Hebron. The doubting, fearful Israelites kept him out for 40 long years.
Poor Caleb. Forty years of wandering.
Forty years of waiting.
Forty years of dreaming.
At last, the time came for Caleb to realize his dream. He confidently approached Joshua and made his case. He trusted God to bring him into the land 40 years ago, and his faith hadn’t wavered. Neither had his strength and fortitude. Moses promised to reward his faithfulness by giving him Hebron, and he was ready to take on the Anakim and settle in his home.
Joshua honored Moses decree, extended his blessing, and Caleb and his family drove out the inhabitants and settled in Hebron.
I envision that scene and the feeling of relief as Caleb led his family toward their new home. They hiked past the cave at Machpelah, where the patriarchs were buried, and pressed on until they entered the city. Dropping his bags as he stared in wide-eyed wonder. “Finally,” Caleb sighed, “HOME.”
I can’t help but dream about the day when God’s children experience the ultimate rest. When our Savior ushers us through the gates of Heaven, I have no doubt we’ll stare in wide-eyed wonder, amazed at a place designed especially for us by Christ Jesus.
“Finally,” we’ll sigh, “HOME.”