Caleb told the people to be quiet and listen to Moses. Caleb said, “Let’s go now and take possession of the land. We should be more than able to conquer it.” But the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people! They’re too strong for us!” So they began to spread lies among the Israelites about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored is one that devours those who live there. All the people we saw there are very tall. Numbers 13:30-32
Those who cannot risk will not win. – John Paul Jones
Jones was a man who knew both risk and winning as the United States’ first well-known naval commander in the American Revolutionary War. His success came as a result of being willing to accept the risk that came with the unpredictable nature of naval warfare. Similarly, there are no guarantees for any man, commander or not, in this life or leadership. Caleb no doubt understood that there was risk involved in taking possession of the land. He did not shrink back from this risk because he deemed it acceptable. On the other hand, the other men would not risk because of fear. How should a man think about risk?
Risk must be prefaced in the context of the bigger picture. Knowing what the win is one factor that will always help determine the amount of risk tolerance. Caleb knew that God not just capable, but also on the side of the people. The land before him was being given to them by God. With the objective laid out, it was what he knew that made the risk acceptable. God’s purposes are always supported by a trustworthy divine leader. Men will always win when doing what God says, regardless of the risk.