The range of mountains in the landscape of man’s habitat holds one mountain that is always present, but is sometimes hidden from view. The clouds of doubt, distraction and difficulty hid it from many travelers. There were 12 climbers who once went into this region and found the formidable mountains as they had been told. They often saw the summits and even climbed the difficult cliffs and swam in the raging streams which flowed from the craggy outcroppings on the hillsides.
They had been sent on a mission to determine if the land was worth the effort to settle there. They had traveled far and endured the dry desert and destitute landscape, suffering both thirst and hunger. Now the promised end was in site. Only at their recommendation would the masses consider entering.
Much to the chagrin of two, the 10 climbers brought word that the land they were anticipating was not there. The inhabitants were warriors like none had seen before; the valleys were as fruitful as promised but the difficulties too great. Their report of terror was enough to cause the entire populace to retreat back into the desert till all of their generation had died, except the two who had seen through the difficulty and seen the potential. They had not only seen the opportunity of the land, they had caught a glimpse of the potential of a hand larger than human. They had seen that it was the land that God had given them and He would provide for them to claim it.
Forty five years after the “U-turn”, when the two were the oldest men living; after 40 years of wandering and the final 5 years of assisting others to conquer and settle, did Caleb utter the words of Joshua 14:12a – “Now therefore give me this mountain ….”! He had seen the giants, their walled cities and their defenses, and now he claimed it as his own.
“NOW” – It was his time
“GIVE ME” – It was his claim
“THIS MOUNTAIN” – It was his possession
It was Hebron. It was the first place that Abraham built an altar when he entered the land. Its older name is Kiryat Arba (“the city of four”) for the four couples who were buried there: Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah. (This is the first recorded Jewish purchase of land in Israel.) It was one of the 6 sites given to the children of Aaron as a City of Refuge where people could flee for protection for vengeance killing. (Joshua 21:13) Later it became the first capital under the rule of David (2 Samuel 2:11)
But probably the most striking thing was that it was where an 85 year old man said, “I want the mountain that was promised to me when I was 40. Who would have known that this mountain and city would hold all of the history that it has? It took the eyes of faith to see beyond the 3 giant sons of Anak who lived there for the old man to trust God to do as He had promised. “if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.” (Joshua 14:12b)
If we today will claim the difficult things in our way in accordance to God’s plan, going in His power, there is no idea what history will record of us! Let’s claim our mountains!