Zero to hero
Numbers 13: 30 New Catholic Bible (NCB)
Then Caleb quieted the people who were standing before Moses and he said, “Let us go at once to take possession of it, for we shall surely conquer it.”
Caleb and Joshua were the two spies who came back with a confident report about Israel in contrast to the ten who saw only how well fortified the cities were and how tall and numerous were its defenders. Not only were Joshua and Caleb minorities in terms of their peers in the scouting team, they were not seen as influencers in popular opinion and their optimism failed to inspire the people. So we have two men with great vision but little influence. They wanted to move ahead and lead their people into victory but were considered as "zeroes".
Deuteronomy 1:8 New Catholic Bible
Behold, I have given you the land. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord promised he would give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants after them.
Joshua and Caleb had confidence in God's promise. God's Word -> Caleb's vision -> Future homeland in Israel
How to build a platform for success?
Caleb and Joshua moved from being Zero to Zorro. Zorro the popular cartoon hero, has a name which means in Spanish, prairie dog. Joshua and Caleb were seen by the people as prairie dogs, all bark and no bite. However, as they became Zorro, they had an advantage. Zorro has a sword, a weapon of offence.
Joshua 3:9 New Catholic Bible
Joshua instructed the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord, your God.”
Hebrews 4:12 New Catholic Bible
The Word of God Is Living. Indeed, the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any two-edged sword, it pierces to the point where it divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and the intentions of the heart.
Hoshea has his name changed to Joshua Numbers 13: 16
The name Hoshea means “salvation,” the name Joshua means “YAHWEH is salvation.” In Jewish tradition it is believed that Moses is changing Joshua’s name with an implied meaning of “May God save you from the conspiracy of the scouts.”
So our two zeroes have new identities as Zorro with a word that God is Salvation.
CounterIntuitive Compensation Theory
The theory proposes that what our intuition suggests should happen can often create an opposite effect and so therefore scientific evaluation is a more reliable basis for a proposition.
The people of Israel and ten of their spies had come to the intuitive conclusion that they were outgunned and outnumbered in their attempt to conquer Israel.
Hebrews 11 gives us a list of those who dared to break the mould of intuition.
Caleb was in his seventies, having lived a somewhat unremarkable life, first as a slave in Egypt, then as a wanderer for forty years in the desert when he fought against three giants to claim his land as an inheritance.
Joshua 15: 13-16
Conquest by Caleb. Joshua gave Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, an inheritance among the Judahites, as the Lord had commanded: Kiriath-arba, that is, Hebron. (Arba was the forefather of the Anak.) 14 Caleb drove the three Anakim out from it, that is Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. They were descendants of Anak. 15 From there he marched out against the people living in Debir. (Debir was previously called Kiriath-sepher.) 16 [b]Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Achsah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath-sepher.” 17 Othniel, the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it, so he gave him his daughter Achsah in marriage.
Joshua and Caleb had become heroes.
We might define ourselves in three areas of brokeness:
- man to God
- man to man
- man to nature
We see ourselves in terms of disadvantage in race, education, sexuality, nationality, wealth, health and so on.
Counterintuitively mankind tries to compensate in these areas of brokeness by:
- working to please God
- making laws to foster diversity, remove prejudice and educate acceptance
- create ways to compensate for pollution, deforestation, soil degradation
None of these deal with the central issue
Jeremiah 17:9 English Standard Version
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
We all are born with areas of brokeness
Luke 5:32 New Living Translation
I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”
God calls us to be faithful not successful. God's Word is a sword that can turn us from a zero to a hero.
This article is based upon my notes from a sermon preached by Pastor Dominic Din via Zoom on Sunday 15th August 2021 Ps Dominic Din - Jesus Family Marrickville