It’s difficult having a celebrity as a family member.
Caleb would never say he is a celebrity. He’s actually quite down to earth, never making a big fuss or drawing attention to himself.
Other people do that for him.
I’ve always loved spending time with him.
Caleb would tell me stories of the wilderness and of the Lord leading the people into the promised land. He never made a big deal of the part he played, but really talked up the Lord and the work others did.
I’d cling to every word.
That man knows how to tell a story.
Even though he no longer goes out on great expeditions, the people still hold him up on a pedestal.
And they should! He has done great things in the name of our Lord and for our people.
It’s not how they revere Caleb that I take issue. It’s how they treat me as a result.
“Caleb has done so much, what are Othniel’s talents?”
“What great things will Othniel do?”
“Othniel really needs to put himself out there if he is going to carry on Caleb’s traditions.”
People rarely say it to my face but I have heard the murmurs. More is expected of me because Caleb is in my family.
Even my own parents, though meaning well, have hurt me with their words. “I’m sure one day you will do something great like Caleb.”
They mean it as an encouragement but by doing so they have downplayed my entire walk with the Lord and the service I do each day for our people.
It would seem most people believe my life should be a continuous act of greatness rather than living out the will of the Lord even in everyday events. They feel this way even though they do nothing themselves.
I despise idle chatting.
What I want to ask from time to time is, “And what have you done that you can judge my lack of greatness?”
Truth be told, they have done nothing. In fact, most people have abandoned the ways of our Lord. It’s why for the last eight years we have lived as captives to the Mesopotamians.
The people of Israel had begun to worship Baal and Asheroth. There was even talk of beginning to sacrifice our own children to these so called “gods” as is the custom among their worshipers.
It is a fast decent to hell when we abandon the way of our Lord.
People made fun of my steadfastness in walking with the Lord. It’s funny. The people expect me to live a great life like Caleb but expect me to follow in their footsteps in abandoning our God.
The inner hypocrisy of people and their lack of convictions has stopped surprising me.
After eight years of captivity, eight whole years, the people of Israel began to call out to the Lord again.
We are nothing if not stubborn.
It was at this time the Lord revealed to me His plans to free His people. Following His instructions I raised up an army to fight our captors and the Lord led us to victory.
The Lord was with us and the battle was easy. No Israelites were lost in the fight.
Now, living back in our own land under our own leaders people have begun to talk me up.
“It really must run in the family.”
I have tried again and again to remind them that it does not.
My family has no power.
“It” runs with our Lord. He is the one who saved us from the enemy’s hand. He is the one who gave us the power to be free.
Others nod their head in agreement but I see in their eyes they still look to my bloodline when looking for greatness.
It’s sad really. My people were captives to their own lusts and desires for idols long before we were captives to the Mesopotamian king.
And now, even though they are physically free, I worry they are still captives.
I pray our stability lasts in this land. I pray my people learn to rely on the Lord in all things.
But their treatment of Caleb and I does not give me much hope for them.
Lord show them the way.