The Israelite people in the Old Testament had regular life problems, just like the rest of us.
They had people who didn’t like them and people who wanted their cool stuff, like their land and money.
The Israelites, also wanted cool stuff – like friends, a good place to live, and good food to eat. They fell in love and got married like we do today. They went to work and ate dinner with their families.
The problem is part of regular, everyday life. We are made to want God and He provides the things and the people we need. But as people, whether Israelite or Ohioan, we start to want things more than we want God, or we want things and we end up not wanting God at all.
God’s people forgot God. They decided what they wanted was better than wanting God, so they did evil things, hurt one another, and generally had very bad behavior and hearts.
God saves though. He doesn’t forget who He is, even when we do.
So, God sent Othniel. He was Caleb’s little brother, which is really cool, because Caleb was one of the spies who went into Jericho. When everyone was terrified to do what God had told them to do and claim the gifts God had provided for them in Jericho, Caleb reminded the people of Israel the God was bigger than those who might want to hurt them.
This is one reason it’s important we share our faith in our families and in our homes. Othniel and Caleb most likely had a father, a mother, a grandparent, and aunt or uncle telling them about the One True God. It’s easier to want God when we point each other to Him every day.
Caleb and Othniel both lead faithfully in very different ways.
God has plans for you to serve Him in your own way today.
Would you rather be a spy, like Caleb, or a soldier, like Othniel?
We are spies for God when we spy out who Jesus is and where He is working. Do you see someone forgiving someone else? That’s Jesus! Do you see someone thanking Him before they eat? That’s Jesus! Do you see someone offering kindness and encouragement? That’s Jesus!
We are soldiers for God when we say no to just doing whatever we want when we want to and yes to spending time with God in worship or prayer, following our parents and leaders when they give us wisdom, and not letting hurtful people “win” but standing up for love and God’s hope in Jesus instead.
Dear Jesus, I spy with my little eye, You working in my life every day. You do not forget me, ever. Help me to follow You and be faithful to You as well. In Your Name, Amen.