Forty Days: 3. The Forthy Days' Searching of Canaan

 •  24 min. read  •  grade level: 6
The Book of Numbers has a very peculiar place and significance in the word of God. It is the Book of the Wilderness: of the journeying or itinerary of the children of Israel, after redemption was accomplished, and they had been brought out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, to go onwards and upwards to the Land of Canaan.
The wilderness way never was in the purpose of God for Israel, though it took forty years to accomplish it; just as your pathway here, as a saint, does not enter into the purpose of God for you. It is His place to test and try you, to see what is in your heart; to teach you lessons which could be learned in no other place. But God has not redeemed you for earth, but for heaven; not for this world, but for glory; this is His purpose.
You will notice here a very solemn thing. This journey, which took forty years to accomplish, was really a pathway of only eleven days. This we see from Deut. 1: “There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir, unto Kadesh Barnea...” Kadesh is on the very borders of the land, at the southeast extremity. But mark the next verse, “And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month,” &c. It was a short journey if taken direct, right into the land of promise; but through unbelief it took forty long weary years to accomplish it.
How long, may we not ask, would the journey have been, from the day that the Lord had ascended up on high, after He had risen from the dead, and sent the Holy Spirit to form the church of God, until He would return again, had she been faithful to His desire, “that they all may be one, that the world may believe”? (John 17). How soon all would have been gathered together, and the Lord have taken her home! But soon all was ruin — and God’s longsuffering waited ever since, in patience, to accomplish His purpose; and we ourselves are the fruit of man’s unfaithfulness and His delay.
Let us not be discouraged then because of evil: God is able to turn it all to blessing in His own way.
Now we know from 1 Corinthians 10:1111Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. (1 Corinthians 10:11), that “all these things happened unto them [Israel] for examples [types], and are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” It is not that the people are the type; but the “things which happened unto them” a most important distinction.
We will now turn to some passages of scripture to show that the wilderness never entered into the purpose of God at all.
Let us look at Exodus 3, at “the section on the bush.” When God appeared to Moses by that strange sight, “A bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” Israel was in the furnace of Egypt; therefore God will be in the bush burning with fire. He would identify Himself with His people — wherever they are, when about to deliver.
We find this purpose told us in the seventh verse concerning Israel: “I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows.” How blessed to think that even when no cry was addressed to Him, He could say, “I have seen”; “I have heard”; “I know.” These touching words unfold to us three degrees of suffering and sorrow in His own. There is the outward sorrow that can be seen by others. This is the easiest to bear, and that in which often most sympathy is known from others. It may be with us a sickness, or some outward thing which may be recognized, and which others can share. Of this God says, “I have seen the affliction of my people.” There is a deeper sorrow than this, which may be expressed by a cry out of the depths of the heart to God. “I have heard their cry,” saith the Lord. It is a sorrow which can be put in words before Him, or before a sympathizing friend, and in which the heart often finds that friend’s sympathy, and God Himself hears the cry which expressed the agony. But there is a deeper sorrow still; a sorrow in which the kindest friend can have no share — the sorrow that eats away the heart, and could not be expressed in words, which, if it were possible to be expressed, had better be left untold; the unuttered sorrow of the anguished heart, which cannot even be told to God in words — the “groan which cannot be uttered.” Such can only be laid before Him in the silence of His presence, while the soul is sustained by those blessed, truly blessed words of His, “I know their sorrows.” What rest there is in these words! “I have seen” what could be seen; “I have heard” the cry that others may have heard; but “I know their sorrows” when no words could express them even to Me; how much less even to the friend or companion who might truly sympathize!
And “I am come down to deliver... and to bring them out of that land, unto a good land, and a large; a land flowing with milk and honey.” This, then, was His purpose. Not one word of the waste deserts which lay between.
When the Lawgiver comes (Ex. 6) to announce this purpose to them, he tells them, in those sevenfold “I wills “of the Lord:
“I will bring you out,”
“I will rid you out of their bondage,”
“I will redeem you,”
“I will take you to me,”
“I will be to you a God,”
“I will bring you into the land,”
“I will give it you for an heritage.” Here, again, no word of the wilderness is expressed. It was not His purpose.
Thus faith takes up this wondrous purpose in its song — the first we ever find in scripture — (Ex. 15): “Till the people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over which thou hast purchased. Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of shine inheritance.” Through the wilderness? No; not a word about it in the song of faith; for faith takes up God’s thoughts because He has revealed them.
So in Ephesians, we kind no time, no earth, no wilderness there. We are taken out of the depths of ruin, a set in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph. 2:66And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 2:6)), without the pathway there at all. Like the robber on the cross beside the Lord: he is taken from the depths of degradation at once into the paradise of God with Christ!
Why, then, does the wilderness intervene? Why the pathway of sorrow and distress, unredeemed by a single feature of good in ourselves, as from ourselves? Why bring in that dreary journey where our failures are seen, and our hearts exposed?
The eighth chapter of Deuteronomy is the reply. It is a synopsis of the whole book that is before us. “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee, these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart,” &c. There are two things God would always have us remember: “The day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt, all the days of thy life” (Deut. 16:33Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life. (Deuteronomy 16:3)), and “all the way” they passed through. Not an incident was to be forgotten; but all was turned to blessing by Him who alone could say it was “To do them good at the latter end” (Deut. 16:88Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work therein. (Deuteronomy 16:8)).
It was the trying of their faith; and the testing of patience too; disclosing what was in the hearts of His redeemed. He knew it well, before they were tested; but they learned it, as we do, through those testings by the way. Bitter, too, are these lessons; humbling us to the dust, as they should do; but filling the heart with a deeper, fuller knowledge of Him who has redeemed us, and of what was ever in His heart the while.
The people of Israel are now at Kadesh Barnea, (Num. 13). They had gone the “eleven days”‘ journey, and were on the borders of the land of promise. There were its sunny plains, stretching out before their view — the garden of the Lord; that good land, which flowed with milk and honey. Their feet were almost treading upon their possessions; when in one short moment the prospect is clouded through unbelief!
These things are written for our admonition, that they may warn and instruct our souls. I speak to you who are Christians, who profess to believe in Him — the Christ of God. Many of you are true Christians; many, alas, only Christians in name, Christless Christians and lost. Yet all profess His name. This is the state of things that Christendom presents before the Lord. A place of privilege, yet a place of solemn responsibility as well.
They had all come out of Egypt: all seemed to be nearing the land of Canaan; yet thousands fell in the wilderness, and never got there at all. Why was this? The answer is ready: “So we see they could not enter in because of unbelief (Heb. 3:1919So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:19)).” “Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall, after the same example of unbelief (Heb. 4:1111Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Hebrews 4:11)).” The people then were at Kadesh Barnea — just a step from the land — where every hope, and every promise could be fulfilled. Immediately the hitherto secret cloud of unbelief, not larger at first than a man’s hand, is seen growing black, and full of sorrow. It seemed so very wise; so like prudence and caution to send up men to spy out the land. It looked well, as it reads in Num. 13, and as if all was according to the mind of the Lord. He spake to Moses saying, “Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I have given unto the children of Israel.” This is most solemn. There is no secret spring seen in the opening of this chapter which would lead us to suppose anything was wrong.
Do we not find oftentimes the same kind of thing in our own histories? You do a thing; you seem fully to have the Lord’s mind and word for what you are then carrying out. I may meet you in six months’ time, and you will say to me, “It was all unbelief”! How solemn! How sad to discern that the Lord often permits a thing; yea, orders a thing “because of unbelief,” as He does here. The thermometer of faith had gone down: the bright first song of faith in Exodus 15, which seized God’s purpose, where faith, too, sets its seal to all that He had made known; all was gone now. Prudence and forethought were now the guiding principles; and all looked well for the moment. God then descended to their evil, and said to Moses, “Send thou men!”
Has God never done this with us, my brethren? Has He never met our desires where we were? and we thought it a good sign, and that all seemed according to His mind. Have we never discovered, after a while, that all was the fruit of unbelief?
See Moses, too, the meekest man that was in all the earth, how he was deceived; the very leader of the people of God. “And I said unto you, ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the Lord our God doth give unto us. Behold the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee; go up and possess it... And ye came near and said unto me... we will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land &c.... And the saying pleased me well”! (Deut. 1) My brethren, faith never reasons. Faith does not trust God for the things that are difficult; but for the things that seem impossible! Do not say a thing is difficult, and therefore we must trust God about it, Say rather it is impossible, and therefore we will trust Him.
The people’s faith, then, had gone down, and the Lord directs them to send the spies. Nay, it seems as if the Lord desired it so to be. Nay, alas, He permits it. How often have we gone on our knees and pleaded with God for things; and how did it turn out? He gave us our request and sent leanness into our souls. Have not lives been spared at the pleadings of His saints, individually or collectively, which have been the bitter sorrow of after years? Have not ways of life been sought to find our daily bread withal, and have been given to us too; which afterward broke our hearts with the sorrows they entailed? How fearful we grow as we advance in life, lest we should ask anything from Him but the right thing — that which is according to His own will.
Words of Faith, 1882, pp. 201-206.
Mark the end of this cloud of unbelief — no bigger that day than a man’s hand; mark where the fruit of that day placed Israel, and where they still are seen. We read, “Yea, they... believed not his word; but murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord. Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness: to overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands (Psa. 106:24-2724Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word: 25But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord. 26Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness: 27To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands. (Psalm 106:24‑27)).” Indeed, we might take a pencil and write across the pages of the Book of Numbers, “According unto your faith, be it unto you.” This is the motto of the book. Each one got according to what faith or unbelief counted on. Moses says, “I am not able to bear all this people alone — and the unbelieving word had scarcely passed his lips, when God says: “Gather me seventy men of the elders of Israel! (Num. 11:14, 1614I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. (Numbers 11:14)
16And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. (Numbers 11:16)
). Israel says: “Would God we had died in this wilderness.” In the same chapter we read, “As truly as I live, as ye have spoken in mine ears so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness” (Num. 14:2, 28, 292And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! (Numbers 14:2)
28Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: 29Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, (Numbers 14:28‑29)
). “Who shall give us flesh to eat?” was the cry of lusting Israel (Num. 11:1818And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. (Numbers 11:18)). “The Lord shall give you flesh to eat,” was the reply of Moses. But what was the result, “He gave them their request, but sent leanness to their souls.” What a comment on that whole chapter (11) is the word of James! (1:15). Lust had conceived; it had brought forth sin, and sin when finished had brought forth death, as Kibroth Hataavah solemnly witnessed.
Caleb, in the splendid language of faith, cried out, “Let us go up at once and possess it [that is, the land]; for we are well able to overcome it;” and God took him, too, at his word, and said as it were, “You shall have the land!” And Joshua: If the Lord delight in us then he will bring us into this land, and give it us.
Beautiful language of faith — so fully answered in his own words at the end: “Ye know in all your hearts, and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you: all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof (Josh. 23:1414And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. (Joshua 23:14)).” The twelve men are then appointed to search the land. They go through it in the length and in the breadth of it. They see its beauty and fertility; its streams and springs, its mountains and its valleys. Full forty days did they journey through it, kept by the hand of God. No son of Anak molested them; no enemy barred their way. They cut down the cluster of grapes at Eshcol, with the pomegranates and the figs; and they returned to their brethren “from searching of the land after forty days!”
Now hear their report. The land is good, say they, and God’s word as to it is true; all agree as to this, all agreed, too, as to the difficulties, and the obstacles, and the enemies that were there. Caleb cries, “Let us go up at once, and possess it.” To this Joshua agrees in the next chapter: “If the Lord delight in us, he will bring us in.” But ten men of the spies now give an evil report of it: “We be not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we!” The horizon was clouded by unbelief and the fear of man, and in one moment God was forgotten. His strength was not measured against the sons of Anak, but their own; and in very deed they were but grasshoppers in their own sight, as they were also in the sight of Anak’s sons — “for they are stronger than we.”
Ah, beloved reader, have you never seen this? Have you never seen a soul in a divine position, rejoicing there before the Lord, seeking, too, to bring others into the same blessedness? Perhaps that soul has got away from the Lord, and you meet it again in a short time, and hear it speaking evil of the place so recently the boast of its lips. Can we not recall the tendency of our own hearts to do so, even without openly avowing it? We are disappointed with the place where God has brought us, when faith has lost sight of Him.
Look at these spies; at one moment delighting in the land of promise, the next, condemning it, from first to last, as the difficulties rose before their eyes. Mark, too, the two witnesses for God — Caleb and Joshua. How lovely is the meaning of Caleb’s name — “all heart” — the man who followed the Lord fully. (Of Joshua I do not speak, for he is more the type of a heavenly Christ, who leads His people into the possession of all.) He (Caleb) took the scales of the sanctuary in the hand of faith; and in the one scale he put the children of Anak, and all the power of the enemy, and the cities walled up to heaven; in the other scale he placed the promise of the living God. The scale he held did not hesitate in the beam; the single word of Jehovah outweighed them all. “We shall be,” said he, “more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
Yes, beloved brethren, Numbers is the testing and total failure of man walking in the wilderness under the government of God; yet God preserving two witnesses for Himself, of that energy which counts on God with undimmed faith, and runs the whole way through, to the very end. All fail but they: Moses fails; Aaron fails; the people fail; yet God brings in the little ones whom they said would be a prey. He takes care of and glorifies Himself in weakness, as that in which His strength is perfected; for His power is made perfect in weakness itself.
We find, then, the first thing Israel does is to speak evil of what God gives them; and next, they speak evil of Himself: “Wherefore hath the Lord brought us into this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? Were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” Caleb and Joshua seek to cast the people back on God’s heart, but hopeless unbelief had thoroughly set in. The Lord then speaks of smiting and disinheriting them; and Moses pleads that “mercy” — his resource which never failed. The Lord answered, “I have pardoned according to thy word” (Num. 14:2020And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word: (Numbers 14:20)). Then He sentences the people, and commends Caleb: “Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers; neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: but my servant, Caleb, because he hath another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.” Thus, then, runs the sentence of the Lord: “Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me; doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years; and ye shall know my breach of promise.”
They had waited for “forty days” for human testimony, and when they had received it, they believed it not; nor had they believed the testimony of God. Fit testimony to the world and its character through which we pass. Man does not trust God, nor trust his fellow. Ask yourselves — is it not so? We have a lock on our door; a bank in which to put our money; a policeman to guard it. No man naturally trusts his fellow, and the last thing he does is to trust God, and this only when grace had taught him that he had nothing else that will avail.
Forty years’ wandering was the result of the unbelief of a moment, and to the sin which flowed from it. How often is a life marred, and a forty years of sorrow prefaced and introduced by one moment of sin and unbelief. It may be a sin had been committed, so secret that no eye had ever seen it but God’s alone. Yet it leaves its scar, though His pardon has been known. Does it not so, my reader? Are there any scars left in your own soul? Have you never seen a life marred for every act of service and usefulness for God, which had been prefaced by one act of unbelief, which led to some secret or open sin?
Beware, then, of unbelief. It shut Israel out of Canaan; take care that it shuts not you out of heaven! “The fearful and the unbelieving shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.” How many will turn out, by-and-by, not to be believers at all, though making a good profession now!
The ten spies were judged for their sin. Israel, repentant, say, We will go up, we will obey; we plead His promise; we will confess our sin. What more, we might say, than these, then, could they do? “And they rose up early, and get them to the top of the mount” — and they do these things. But “Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the Lord? But it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the Lord is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites [mark it well, beloved, this had been the reason of unbelief not to go when the Lord had commanded] and the Canaanites are there before you; and ye shall fall by the sword; because ye are turned away from the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with you. But they presumed to go up unto the hill-top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah [destruction].” We must accept and bow to God’s government when He has so ordained, and take the consequences of our sin.
We turn now to another man — the man of “another spirit” — Caleb, the man with an undivided heart. These two men (Joshua and he) went right into the land of Canaan, and passed through it for forty days: then they came back, and traversed the desert the whole forty years. Did it not seem hard that such should be to those faithful men? To have to bear the consequences of the sins of others, if they had not shared in them? Nay, they would not have been without the journey; they learned wondrous things of the God of Israel by the way. They saw the rod of Aaron budded, and blossomed, and fruitful. They saw the judgment on Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; the brazen serpent too. And they walked with God all through the way, and at the end they had an “abundant entrance” ministered unto them into the glorious land!
If we turn to Josh. 14, where Caleb’s history is referred to, we read, “Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, the Kenezite, said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the Lord said unto Moses, the man of God, concerning me and thee in Kadesh-Barnea. Forty years old was I when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadesh-Barnea to spy out the land; and I brought word again, as it was in my heart [ this man of an undivided heart; and] I wholly followed the Lord my God.” When a man can stand up before his fellows of forty years, and say this, he is entitled to our belief. None could say it without fear of contradiction, were it not true. It is not often a man can testify of himself; when he can, I believe him! And Moses testifies, too, of him, and said (vs. 9), “Thou hast wholly followed the Lord my God.” The Lord, too, had said of him (Num. 14:2424But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Numbers 14:24)), “My servant, Caleb... hath followed me fully,” and now Joshua, at the end: “And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, Hebron for an inheritance... because that he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.” Four precious testimonies of that single-hearted man.
Would you like to be a Caleb, my reader; or to be of that great multitude whose carcases fell in the wilderness? Can you put yourself with that man in spirit and say, “From henceforth we will live, not unto ourselves, but unto Him who died for us, and rose again”? “From henceforth”: how often have these words been but the purpose of an hour, and then have passed away. We want more of “another spirit,” like Caleb. “We have not received the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God,” my brethren; and those two spirits are in full opposition, each claiming the allegiance of our souls.
If we turn for a moment to 1 Chron. 2:18-5518And Caleb the son of Hezron begat children of Azubah his wife, and of Jerioth: her sons are these; Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon. 19And when Azubah was dead, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, which bare him Hur. 20And Hur begat Uri, and Uri begat Bezaleel. 21And afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was threescore years old; and she bare him Segub. 22And Segub begat Jair, who had three and twenty cities in the land of Gilead. 23And he took Geshur, and Aram, with the towns of Jair, from them, with Kenath, and the towns thereof, even threescore cities. All these belonged to the sons of Machir the father of Gilead. 24And after that Hezron was dead in Caleb-ephratah, then Abiah Hezron's wife bare him Ashur the father of Tekoa. 25And the sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron were, Ram the firstborn, and Bunah, and Oren, and Ozem, and Ahijah. 26Jerahmeel had also another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. 27And the sons of Ram the firstborn of Jerahmeel were, Maaz, and Jamin, and Eker. 28And the sons of Onam were, Shammai, and Jada. And the sons of Shammai; Nadab, and Abishur. 29And the name of the wife of Abishur was Abihail, and she bare him Ahban, and Molid. 30And the sons of Nadab; Seled, and Appaim: but Seled died without children. 31And the sons of Appaim; Ishi. And the sons of Ishi; Sheshan. And the children of Sheshan; Ahlai. 32And the sons of Jada the brother of Shammai; Jether, and Jonathan: and Jether died without children. 33And the sons of Jonathan; Peleth, and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel. 34Now Sheshan had no sons, but daughters. And Sheshan had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Jarha. 35And Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant to wife; and she bare him Attai. 36And Attai begat Nathan, and Nathan begat Zabad, 37And Zabad begat Ephlal, and Ephlal begat Obed, 38And Obed begat Jehu, and Jehu begat Azariah, 39And Azariah begat Helez, and Helez begat Eleasah, 40And Eleasah begat Sisamai, and Sisamai begat Shallum, 41And Shallum begat Jekamiah, and Jekamiah begat Elishama. 42Now the sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel were, Mesha his firstborn, which was the father of Ziph; and the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron. 43And the sons of Hebron; Korah, and Tappuah, and Rekem, and Shema. 44And Shema begat Raham, the father of Jorkoam: and Rekem begat Shammai. 45And the son of Shammai was Maon: and Maon was the father of Beth-zur. 46And Ephah, Caleb's concubine, bare Haran, and Moza, and Gazez: and Haran begat Gazez. 47And the sons of Jahdai; Regem, and Jotham, and Geshan, and Pelet, and Ephah, and Shaaph. 48Maachah, Caleb's concubine, bare Sheber, and Tirhanah. 49She bare also Shaaph the father of Madmannah, Sheva the father of Machbenah, and the father of Gibea: and the daughter of Caleb was Achsah. 50These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah; Shobal the father of Kirjath-jearim, 51Salma the father of Bethlehem, Hareph the father of Beth-gader. 52And Shobal the father of Kirjath-jearim had sons; Haroeh, and half of the Manahethites. 53And the families of Kirjath-jearim; the Ithrites, and the Puhites, and the Shumathites, and the Mishraites; of them came the Zareathites, and the Eshtaulites. 54The sons of Salma; Bethlehem, and the Netophathites, Ataroth, the house of Joab, and half of the Manahethites, the Zorites. 55And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab. (1 Chronicles 2:18‑55), we find how God carries out the promise that his seed should inherit the land. We may have passed over this chapter as a dry list of names, and never have seen any of the divine principles that even such can teach us. We find here the genealogy of Caleb traced onwards, till we read at the end, “These are the Kenites (compare Judg. 1:1616And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people. (Judges 1:16)) that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.” We find their descendants still in the possession of their portion, in the words of one of the last prophets of Israel — Jeremiah. If you turn to Jer. 25, you will find how the Rechabites would not forfeit the vow that their father had put upon them. They were the descendants of this very man, who wholly followed the Lord God of Israel; and in the very end we read, “Jonadab, the son of Rechab, shall not want a man to stand before me (said the Lord) forever!” Such is God’s reward of faith; and His faithfulness to a faithful, undivided heart.
Words of Faith, 1882, pp. 234-240.