Word of the Month

What matters is our faithfulness

August 2012

From the Wilderness of Paran, Moses sent twelve spies into the land of Canaan in order to gain a better impression of the Promised Land. Among these spies was Caleb. Concerning this man, God later spoke the words: “But My servant Caleb, because he has […] followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went” (Numbers 24: 24). What was so special about Caleb?

When the spies returned from Canaan, they related what they had experienced. Ten of them said that the inhabitants of the land were far too strong for them and that the people of Israel would never be able to conquer the land. Only two of these spies, namely Caleb and Joshua, were in favour of risking it. Caleb said: “Let us go up at once and take possession” (Numbers 13: 30). The debate raged back and forth, but Caleb did not allow himself to be deterred and said: “If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us” (Numbers 14: 8). His heart belonged to the Lord. That is faithfulness! Years later, Caleb and his descendants were permitted to enter the land and possess it because he had remained true and faithful to the Lord.

In the various parts of the world there are many cultures, opinions, views, and traditions, but one thing must remain firm, and that is our faithfulness! Those who have followed the Lord and remained faithful to Him in the various circumstances will be richly rewarded. Caleb was able to see the land and remain in it because he was faithful. We will likewise see the Lord on His day and remain with Him if we are faithful to Him.

This is a challenge in our time because there are so many opinions and views about how one might come to God. Let us not allow ourselves to be confused by these! Let us keep our trust in the Lord, let us continue to heed the divine laws and commandments, and let us not cease to remain with the Lord and look up to Him. That is faithfulness!

The situation at that time was not easy either. The other spies had warned against invading the land—and their arguments were not unreasonable, after all. They spoke of the military strength of the inhabitants of Canaan and pointed out that if one were to engage in battle with them, one might well lose.

Today too there may be some who seem to have good reason to ask: “Do we really have to keep attending the divine services? Do we really have to cling to the Apostles? Should we really continue to wait for the day of the Lord?” Generally speaking, we all follow the Lord faithfully. But when needs and tribulation arise, it often becomes difficult to remain faithful. Even if we have prayed and hoped for certain circumstances to change and nothing seems to happen, let us nevertheless remain faithful! The important thing is to remain faithful to the end!

The Son of God pointed out that at the end of the day faithfulness is what counts. In the parable of the talents, the master of the house addressed the servant who had invested his talents as follows: “You were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things” (Matthew 25: 21).

If someone were to object at this point that there are others who perhaps act differently, I would refer to the words of Apostle Paul: “For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?” Paul already noted this question in his time. His response: “Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true” (cf. Romans 3: 3-4). God remains unchangeable. He remains faithful and true. What is important for us is to remain faithful to Him!          

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)