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Friends in Deed

Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: "You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart."

Dr. Abraham Maslow, famed research analyst, estimated that the average American meets only about 50 percent of his need for love, interpersonal support and intimacy. In the latter stages of his research, Dr. Maslow became even more negative in his summary: "The truth is," he said, "the average American does not have a real friend in the world."

That stands in stark contrast to the friendship we see between Joshua and Caleb. First teamed up by Moses as partners to explore the land of Canaan, they also stood steadfast together when the people rebelled and wanted to stone them (Num. 14:6-10). Joshua was later selected to replace Moses as the leader of Israel, but that seemed to have no effect on their friendship. Forty-five years later we find them fighting shoulder to shoulder as Israel sought to solidify its hold on the Promised Land. And in the midst of the conflict, Joshua fulfilled a promise. Joshua 14:13 says, "And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance."

Joshua and Caleb were friends indeed and friends in deed. It was a friendship tested by time and trials, but a friendship expressed in commitment and deeds. What had been promised in words was fulfilled in deeds.

Perhaps you are blessed with such a friend as Caleb. If so, find a way today not only to say how much you appreciate this friend but to show it as well. Follow the admonition of 1 John 3:18: "Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."

A friend in deed is a friend indeed.

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