Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Let Us Go Up At Once

Numbers 10:3 - Numbers 15:1

Sometimes we are led to discover great heroes in the scriptures.

Today that is our opportunity.

From twelve men who were chosen because of their bravery, their leadership, and their character, two stand out as heroes.

Caleb, who had another spirit with him and followed the Lord fully. (Numbers 14:24)

And Joshua, whose name was changed from Oshea, meaning help, to Jehoshua, meaning Jehovah is help.  The same Joshua who Moses counseled to be strong and of a good courage. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

The heroic endeavors of these two men were a direct result of their character.  They were men who fully followed the Lord and who were strong and of good courage.

But this is not all.

Of the twelve men who saw the Promised Land, ten saw great walls and a strong army.  They spoke of giants and compared themselves to grasshoppers.  They brought back an evil report.

Only two brought back a good report.  They spoke of a land flowing with milk and honey.  They saw the danger, but were not hindered, saying, "let us go up at once...for we are well able to overcome it."  (Numbers 13:30)

Two of the twelve were filled with optimism.  With hope.  With faith.  Nothing was going to hold them back from what the Lord had asked them to accomplish.

Two heroes.

One who fully followed the Lord.

One who believed Jehovah is help.

Caleb and Joshua.

Strong men of a great courage who knew the Lord was with them.  (Numbers 14:9)

A great promise was given to these two heroes.  Because of their devotion.  Because of their bravery.  Because they fully followed the Lord.  Of the entire generation, only these two were allowed to enter the Promised Land.  "Surely none of the men shall see...because they have not wholly followed me:  Save Caleb...and Joshua...for they have wholly followed the Lord."  (Numbers 32:11-12)

I wish I could tell you how much I admire these two men ––how much I respect their devotion and their courage.  I wish I could explain the respect I have for these two heroes who I look up to, and have looked up to for many, many years.

I don't know if I have words powerful enough to convey that admiration or respect...but perhaps you would allow me to try.

Twenty years ago our oldest son was born.  We wanted to name him after someone he could look up to.  After months of searching we were led to read the story of the two spies in the book of Numbers.  After gaining a profound respect for these two men who fully followed the Lord, we decided to name our oldest son Caleb.

Today his greatest gift is his obedience.  His life has enabled him to gain great wisdom.  He has the Spirit with him.  He is someone who fully follows the Lord.

Eighteen months after Caleb was born we were blessed with a second son.  We knew he and his brother would be inseparable...friends...companions.  We also immediately knew what we wanted to name this second son...companion and friend to Caleb.  Inseparable in belief and devotion.

His name would be Joshua.

Today his greatest gift is his strength of testimony.  The events of his life have enabled him to gain great courage.  Jehovah is his help.  He is someone who fully follows the Lord.

We could not have chosen better role models for our two sons.

Caleb is currently serving a mission in Croatia.

Joshua leaves in 9 days for the Atlanta Georgia Mission.

Nine days...

Both my boys away from home on an errand for the Lord.  An errand they have approached with optimism.  With hope.  With faith.  They are not afraid of the obstacles they may face.  Together their attitude has always been, "let us go up at once...for we are well able to overcome it."

Their strength and courage comes from each other and from their testimony of the Lord who they have learned to fully follow.

I wish I could tell you how much I admire them ––how much I respect their devotion and their courage.  I wish I could explain the respect I have for these two boys who I look up to, and who I will look up to for many, many years.

Caleb and Joshua.

Oh, how I love these heroes...both those in Numbers, and those in Croatia and Georgia.

Emily Freeman