THERE is a very beautiful lesson to be learned from the Bible story of Caleb of the tribe of Judah —the son of Jephunneh. In Numbers we are told that Moses, by the commandment of God, sent from the wilderness of Paran those men, including Caleb, who were the "heads of the children of Israel." They were sent to spy out the land of Canaan, and were to report on the fruitfulness of the land. Their search lasted forty days, after which they returned to tell of a land flowing with milk and honey and bearing much fruit. But in spite of this good report, some of the leaders demurred; and we read, further, that the men who went with Caleb said, "We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we."
Against this discouraging murmuring of the doubting Israelites Caleb stood firm; and later, in the book of Joshua, we read of the victorious outcome of his stand, in the words: "Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the Lord my God. And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the Lord my God."
Christian Scientists to-day are standing in a position similar to that of the leaders of the tribes of Israel. They have the same opportunities almost daily either to follow wholly or to wander, as did the children of Israel, in the wilderness of false beliefs; and it may seem to be a long trail through the wilderness. It is interesting to note that the wanderings of the Israelites under various disheartening experiences extended over a period of forty years.
Mrs. Eddy has, through her inspired obedience, marked out the way so that we may circumvent the terrors of a wilderness of thought, and wholly follow God. She says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 167), "It is not wise to take a halting and half-way position or to expect to work equally with Spirit and matter, Truth and error;" and she adds, "Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized."
Again, in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 183) we find Mrs. Eddy writing, "He is bravely brave who dares at this date refute the evidence of material sense with the facts of Science, and will arrive at the true status of man because of it." Is not this a divine promise given by our Leader to all who faithfully stand, in spite of the material evidences of error, in the knowledge of only one substance, one Mind? Into this state of consciousness there can enter no questioning, no doubting, no false belief of there being any other help than that which is wholly spiritual. It makes no difference what the circumstances, one can joyfully stand and prove man's dominion "over all the earth." Whatever error claims to be, it is only the belief of the one supposititious evil against the one true God. It is only a lie.
To follow wholly, we must see reality only in good, and constantly stand for the truth of being and the spiritual idea of man in the image and likeness of his Father-Mother God. If Caleb had entertained a thought apart from obedience to God, good, his work would have been undermined and he would have been tempted to believe, as were the others, in the strength of the enemy, the Anakims, who then occupied the land of Canaan. Outlining or fearing what might happen surely would have kept him from wholly following. But this false sense did not appear real or formidable to Caleb; "and," the narrative continues, "the land had rest from war."
May not we also, having wholly followed God, see the reward of our faith even as did Caleb? Is not this what every Christian Scientist experiences when, refusing to see inharmony or evil of any kind as real, he brings the light of Truth to bear upon a situation or condition which needs healing? May we not see the end of the warfare which has existed solely in our false beliefs about conditions and situations, and praise God and rejoice, as did Caleb, that "the land had rest from war"?
On page 125 of "Miscellaneous Writings" Mrs. Eddy shows us the reward which comes as a result of wholly following God, when she says: "Then shall he drink anew Christ's cup, in the kingdom of God —the reign of righteousness—within him; he shall sit down at the Father's right hand: sit down; not stand waiting and weary; but rest on the bosom of God; rest, in the understanding of divine Love that passeth all understanding; rest, in that which 'to know aright is Life eternal,' and whom, not having seen, we love."