2006-01-24 - Caleb's Story
Joshua 14:6-15 (NCV) One day some men from the tribe of Judah went to Joshua at Gilgal. Among them was Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite. He said to Joshua, "You remember what the Lord said at Kadesh Barnea when he was speaking to the prophet Moses about you and me. 7 Moses, the Lord's servant, sent me to look at the land where we were going. I was forty years old then. When I came back, I told Moses what I thought about the land. 8 The other men who went with me frightened the people, but I fully believed the Lord would allow us to take the land. 9 So that day Moses promised me, 'The land where you went will become your land, and your children will own it forever. I will give you that land because you fully believed in the Lord, my God.' 10 "Now then, the Lord has kept his promise. He has kept me alive for forty-five years from the time he said this to Moses during the time we all wandered in the desert. Now here I am, eighty-five years old. 11 I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out, and I am just as ready to fight now as I was then. 12 So give me the mountain country the Lord promised me that day long ago. Back then you heard that the Anakite people lived there and the cities were large and well protected. But now with the Lord helping me, I will force them out, just as the Lord said." 13 Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him the city of Hebron as his own. 14 Hebron still belongs to the family of Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite because he had faith and obeyed the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 (In the past it was called Kiriath Arba, named for Arba, the greatest man among the Anakites.) After this there was peace in the land.
In this passage, we see a small autobiography of a man named Caleb. Caleb was one of the twelve men sent by Moses to spy out the Promised Land in Numbers 13. In Joshua 14, we see the events from that time forward from Caleb's perspective. Ten of the men sent didn't believe it would be possible to take the land promised to them by God. Ten men were wrong. But Caleb states, in verse 8, "I fully believed the Lord would allow us to take the land." Caleb saw the same enemy, but he saw something the others didn't see. He saw an even greater God who could and would keep His word.
Caleb had faith; he could already clearly see the land was theirs not by his strength but by his faith. And he was honored for that faith - by Moses who promised him the land he had seen. Caleb would get the great land by his faith in a great God. Caleb persevered. Caleb watched as everyone he left Egypt with perished out in the wilderness - everyone except Joshua, the other spy with faith. In the wilderness and through the many battles on both sides of the Jordan, Caleb kept his faith. And he kept his eyes on the prize at the end of his pilgrimage.
Caleb endured and received his promised reward. The Bible goes on to record that he went to Hebron and drove out its inhabitants, the sons of Anak. (Joshua 15:14)
There is a place promised to us with many obstacles that stand in our way. How full is your belief? Paul's words to the faithful Timothy remind me of the Moses' words to the faithful Caleb. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him." (2 Tim 2:12)
The same promise holds true for us all.
Romans 8:15-17 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
How full is your belief? Do you live in that belief each day as Caleb did for 45 years? There is a promise waiting for you as real as the promise, which kept Caleb going. It is as real and wonderful as the reward given to the faithful servants in Matthew 25:14-30. Believe fully, and live each day, with your hope in that land which God has prepared for you. Through full belief - through faith, you too will find "after this there was peace in the land." (Joshua 14:15 NCV)
Believe God wholly; live life boldly; endure and reign.