During a broadcast in 2004, radio legend Paul Harvey read a poem entitle “I Am Just a Raindrop.” Space here doesn’t permit me to share the entire poem with you but I would encourage you to find a copy on the internet and read it. The poem begins with these words:
I am just a raindrop
I was born in the sky and settled into a hillside
there to dance in the sun and sparkle
and nourish green and growing things
but there are other raindrops on the hillside
and they invite me to join them for a downhill romp,
and we become a chain of raindrops.
Thus able to travel faster and what do you know
soon others join us until we become a stream
now remember I’m still just a drop of rain.
The poem goes on to tell how other raindrops “joined the crowd” and soon the stream becomes a torrent that carves gullies in the earth. Yet all along the raindrop continues to repeat “it’s my friends who have the power I’m just along for the ride.” The torrent eventually becomes a flood; trees are uprooted, then a forest is destroyed and finally the raging torrent comes to a town of houses, businesses, people and all is destroyed. The little raindrop says:
“I’m just a little raindrop,
but I’m soiled now.
How did I become a part of this?
I never wanted to conquer, nor to destroy
I only needed to be needed.
I only needed to be one of the crowd.”
The pressure to follow the crowd has always been strong. Certainly we feel it every single day of our lives. When we’re talking about our children, we talk about “peer pressure”. For adults, we say it is “keeping up with the Jones’”. But, whatever you want to call it, the force to act and think like everyone else is constantly squeezing us.
That same pressure was felt by a man named Caleb in the days before and right after Israel entered the Promised Land of Canaan. When Moses sent out 12 spies to check out the land, 10 of them came back reporting that Israel could never overtake the people there. Yet Caleb, along with Joshua, refused to follow the crowd. Caleb told the Israelites, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” (Numbers 13:30, ESV). Yet Israel refused to go. They decided to follow the crowd of the 10 spies who saw giants, rather than Caleb and Joshua who saw the hand of the Lord. As a result, God punished Israel for their weakness and disobedience, causing them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.
This Sunday morning we are going to study the character of Caleb and what we will see is that he was a great man of faith, and not just for a moment, but for his entire life. God is calling us today to be people of faith like Caleb, so that rather than following the crowd, we will instead, like Caleb, wholly follow the Lord.
Just trying to fit in, too many are swallowed up by the raging torrent of Satan’s lies in the world. Our lesson Sunday morning remind us that God’s people must keep their eye on the prize of heaven and with courage and conviction, like Caleb, stand strong against the flood.