Caleb—Fully Following God
Text: Joshua 11-22
Our focus is on Chapter 14
What does it mean to follow God and who is this Caleb?
In the Book of Hebrews we learned that in these last days we are to listen to the Son of God and Jesus was His name here on this Earth.
The Son of God says:
Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, [and few there be that find it].
This verse does not say that this straight gate is hard to find, it says that only a few will find it!
There is only one way to find this straight gate:
Rom 12:2 And [be not conformed to this world]: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Then to follow the Lord is too:
Mar 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mar 8:35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
To follow the Lord is to be like Him, and to be like Him is to be a true Christian:
1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
To be a Christian is to be different from those of this world we live in:
Act 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. [And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch].
So who is this Caleb?
I may be mistaken but I do not believe you can find anything in the Bible that is bad about Caleb.
We first meet Caleb when Moses sent out the 12 spies. Only Caleb and Joshua give a good report to Moses in fact Caleb’s words were these:
Num 13:30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; [for we are well able to overcome it].
Why was Caleb this way?
Num 14:24 [But my servant] Caleb, [because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully], him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
“Because he had another spirit and followed God fully”!
What a testimony!
Because of this testimony, Caleb, who was born a slave, who had been one the twelve spies and had “faith” in the Word of God was given his land by privilege!
Caleb had “faith to forget the past.
Caleb had “faith” to face the facts.
Caleb had “faith” to face the future.
So let’s begin:
Jos 14:1 And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them.
Jos 14:2 By lot was their inheritance, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half tribe
The 9 and 1/2 tribes will possess their land by the drawing of the lot. Why was it done this way?
It had to appear that the division of the land was not brought about by men, and their private settlement of it; but by the “providence of God”.
Those men chosen to oversee this process were to witness the fairness of the casting of the lots.
(get picture of map)
How does this relate to the “Born Again” believer”?
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him [who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will]:
*****Jos 14:3 For Moses had given the inheritance of two tribes and an half tribe on the other side Jordan: but unto the Levites he gave none inheritance among them.
Jos 14:4 For the children of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim: therefore they gave no part unto the Levites in the land, save cities to dwell in, with their suburbs for their cattle and for their substance.
Jos 14:5 As the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land.
Under the laws of inheritance and the rites of the first born child, which was allotted to Joseph by Jacob, the two sons of Joseph each got an allotment.
It was Levi who was the ring leader of the selling of Joseph and he was left out of the drawing but still provided for by God Himself.
The Levites belong to the Lord:
Num 3:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 3:12 And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;
The Levites were assigned 48 cities but these cities were scattered throughout the other tribes. They were also given an area around those cities that are called “Suburbs”. This would be the open land near those cities that could support the livestock that belonged to the Levites. There would be no owner of this land but grazing land only.
*****Jos 14:6 Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.
Caleb had wholly followed the Lord since escaping from Egypt.
The Lord had made a promise to Caleb and now Caleb was reminding Joshua of that promise.
Deu 1:35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,
Deu 1:36 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, [and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon], and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.
*****Jos 14:7 Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.
More than 40 years had passed by in the life of Caleb and he was now over 80 years old and he knew the challenge that laid before him to fulfill this promise of the Lord.
When we study the Old Testament we are to learn from it. The exodus of Israel is in fact a “type” of the Christian, trials and tribulations in our walk of “faith”.
The lesson to learn here is that we are to be encouraged in our pilgrim journey and we can claim every promise that the Lord has made and every spiritual blessing that is available from the Lord.
To the church the Bible says:
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Caleb was more than 80 years old but he was not looking for a handout. The land he had been promised was still occupied and the occupants were the giants that all the other spies had been afraid of.
Caleb knew his strength was in the Lord and there was no doubt he would have the victory after all a promise had been made.
**A lesson we need to learn in this class is that “we are never to old to do a work for the Lord”.
There is no retirement from “trusting in the Lord”!
*****Jos 14:8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: [but I wholly followed the LORD my God].
We can see that Caleb knew the recipe for a long life. It is really very simple. We must wholly follow the Lord Our God.
That is Jehovah our Holy Trinity!
Caleb had never forgotten how a false report had caused them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years when he knew he could have already possessed this land and city called Hebron.
*****Jos 14:9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, [Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance], and thy children’s for ever, “because” [thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God].
Caleb respected the God appointed leader of Israel but he had been promised by Moses the land Abraham was so fond of and he simply made a request for Joshua to honor that request.
Num 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land [whereinto he went]; and his seed shall possess it.
Because it was formerly in God’s promise, Caleb shows how he values the promise and insists on the mountain the Lord had spoken of.
As believers we must place great value on the things God has already given to us because of His promises.
What does God promise each believer? It begins with this promise.
Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive [forgiveness of sins, and inheritance] among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Tit 1:2 In hope of [eternal life], which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own [purpose] and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an [inheritance], being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of [the kingdom] which he hath promised to them that love him?
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, [reserved in heaven] for you,
Rom 8:17 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].
Forgiveness, have purpose in this life, Eternal life in His Kingdom, Eternal life in His Heaven, and also a “glorified body” like that of Jesus.
These are just part of our inheritance!
*****Jos 14:10 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
First Caleb had been kept alive to fulfill his purpose.
If this is not your hope while you are still living then you are without hope.
I certainly want to fulfill the purpose God has for my life before He takes me home. Any other thing would be a failure in my service to My Lord.
Upon fulfilling His purpose for me then I want to immediately go home to Heaven.
We can also see that Israel had already been 5 years in the conquest of Canaan Land.
Let’s not miss that Caleb wanted to celebrate his birthday knowing that God was fulfilling a personal promise of giving him the land promised to him.
We can see God does make and keep some personal promises to us while we are living, “if we wholly follow Him”!
*****Jos 14:11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.
God had maintained the strength of Caleb and also his life for those 45 years.
We can clearly see this as an example of God’s faithfulness to His children!
*****Jos 14:12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.
Caleb had reverence for the place that Abraham cherished. The place where Sarah was buried. The place where Jacob was buried. The place where Isaac was buried.
Caleb was not about to allow some giant men to keep him from reclaiming this place that meant so much to him and to Israel.
He knew this would be no easy task but what Caleb knew the most was, that his strength came from the Lord!
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
*****Jos 14:13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.
Jos 14:14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.
Caleb had not made demands of Joshua and I believe Caleb would not have acted on his own if his request was not honored. Caleb had respect for God’s chosen man!
Caleb had volunteered for the hardest assignment of all and he was the only one to complete his job.
This was to big a mountain for Israel to over come but to Caleb it was only one more obstacle in his way of of wholly following The Lord.
*****Jos 14:15 And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.
It was the giants who had changed the name from Hebron to Kirjatharba but Caleb preferred the name Hebron.
Kirjatharba meant “city of four”.
Hebron means a “society of friendship” and that friendship is with the Lord.
Isa 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.
Jas 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Six times the Bible says that Caleb “wholly followed the Lord”.
There is no better recipe to a good life and to good health!
We are all engaged in a great conflict. Our greatest battle is with our inward self. When we overcome this our greatest obstacle we can achieve the things of God and then and then only will we also be a “Friend of God”!
What is our task?
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Who will always give us victory?
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The world may ignore and reject Jesus Christ but the world will go down in defeat while those that love Him will win the victory and receive the promises of God.