Fully Following God

Caleb–Fully Following God

Book of Joshua Chapter 14

The most important thing we can do after we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior is, to then follow Him.

In fact, you cannot be counted as a Christian if you are not following the Lord Jesus Christ!

This is the truth of repentance! We quit traveling the path of sin and start traveling the path of righteousness.

Righteousness is doing our best to do things right and right means according to the Word of God!

As we will see the truth of this man called Caleb, it means “fully following” the Lord.

There is no room for those who just follow the Lord whenever they think it works for them.

Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and “take up his cross daily, and follow me”.

To follow our Savior is a daily walk with Him!

When we are not following the Lord Jesus Christ, we are then traveling on a road of darkness!

Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: “he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”.

Following the Lord Jesus Christ is denying our own will and accepting the will of God as the correct path of life!

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”.

What is the key to following God? Being in the Will of God!

The Lord Jesus Christ is our example in all things of the “will of God”!

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, “leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”:

We cannot follow the Lord unless we “fully follow the Lord”, as did Caleb!

Who was this Caleb?

This Caleb was the son of Hezron, the son of Pharez, the son of Judah and the father of Hur, as the Word of God is written, to separate him from others named Caleb in the Bible. He is also the son of Jephunneh.

Caleb was a prince of the tribe of Judah, a descendant of Hezron, the son of Pharez, and a grandson of Judah

This Caleb was one the twelve spies sent out to Canaan Land by Moses representing the tribe of Judah.

It was this Caleb and this Joshua, who told Moses that Israel could easily take the land of Canaan.

The Lord said that this Caleb had a different spirit than the others.

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.

Why did Caleb have another spirit? Because he followed God fully!

Obviously, this thing pleased God!

How many of us here today would like to have such a thing said about us?

Caleb had a great testimony.

It can be said of us when it is the truth, when God’s will be our own will!

We should strive to have such a testimony as did Caleb.

Israel had already been in many battles and had captured much land on the far side of Jordan.

Caleb had grown old, and Joshua already knew what land that Caleb would receive.

This land was still under the control of the enemy gentiles.

So let us 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.

Thirty-three kings had now been defeated by Israel.

Those who were to divide the lands of Canaan were Eleazer as son of Aaron, Joshua the son on Nun who God had chosen to replace Moses and the heads of the fathers of the tribes.

The word for “tribes” used in connection with the word “fathers” implies genealogical descent which would be according to the Word of God.

In typology we have the Church, the Head of the government, and the Tribes the Heads of the people.

This is God’s way of setting up the government of Israel.

This is the way God intended for all governments to be set up!

The distribution of the land would be according to the “will” of God displaying no partiality.

The casting of the “lot” was to be the method used where it could be said that every decision was by the “Will of God”.

*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.
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.

The “lot” was a small stone used in the casting of “lots”, the method used to determine chances or preferences, or to decide a debate.

The decision by lot was often resorted to among the Hebrews, but always with the strictest reference to the interposition of God!

Today we would say a thing of “chance”.

Even today ,placing names in a hat and drawing those names out one at a time has the intention of God choosing those to serve Him.

We should understand that there nothing done by chance when God participates in it.

Canaan land was divided between nine tribes plus one half of a tribe as Moses had already given land to two and a half tribes on the far side of Jordan.

God had decided that the Levites would not be given land for an inheritance.

God had said that He would be the inheritance of the Levites.

We always have that question “why”?

*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.

God had chosen the Levites to be the tribe that would serve Him exclusively.

God has His reasons!

Jacob had made this statement:

Gen 49:2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
Gen 49:3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
Gen 49:4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.
Gen 49:5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
Gen 49:6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.
Gen 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: “I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel”.

Simeon and Levi were associate in wickedness, and so the same prediction would be equally applicable to both their tribes.

Levi had cities allotted to them in every tribe.

On account of their zeal against idolatry, they were honorably “divided in Jacob”; whereas the tribe of Simeon, which was guilty of the grossest idolatry and the vices inseparable from it, were ignominiously “scattered.” over the Promised Land.

God had chosen the Levites to be His own personal representatives among the people, so they belonged to the Lord.

The Lord was their inheritance!

The Levites were replaced by the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim which will also take us back to Jacob who is Israel and his favorite son Joseph, who is also a type of Christ as we studied in the Book of Genesis.

The two branches of Joseph’s house, Manasseh, and Ephraim, forming each a tribe, would have made Israel’s family to have been thirteen to have divided Canaan, had not Levi been separated to the Lord: and Reuben and Gad, with half the tribe of Manasseh settling on the other side of Jordan.

It was at this time, before any land had been given that Caleb the head of the tribe of Judah spoke up.

*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.
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.

You see God never breaks a promise!

Forty-five years earlier Caleb had a promise from Moses as the spies had returned from spying out Canaan Land.

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.

Moses spoke as the Word of God was given to him.

We know that Joshua also stood as Caleb, but he is not named because he was no longer in the ranks of the people and was the constant companion of Moses until Moses died and was now the leader of all of Israel.

Caleb was under the influence of the Holy Spirit and did not fear what this world could do to him.

This is the way we should live today.

Out of those twelve spies only Caleb and Joshua had stood by 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.
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.

You see we cannot just follow the Lord when we feel like it!

We must follow the Lord no matter our feelings.

Our relationship with the Lord is not about feelings!
Our relationship with the Lord is about “the truth” of God!

We must do exactly what God (Jehovah) has commanded us to do.

The Word of God has never been a book of suggestions!

We must execute the Word of God just as it is written, “rightly divided”!

There is the promised inheritance of the Lord that can also be to every believer, but obedience is absolutely essential to receive it.

Obedience is the only proof that the Lord has that we genuinely love Him!

It will take courage, duty, and commitment and our faith, to achieve the goals that the Lord has placed upon us!

We will see that Caleb had all these traits.

We will need these traits if we are to “wholly follow the Lord”.

Though the world disagrees it is our Heavenly Father who keeps us alive!

It is Jehovah who holds the power of life and the power of death!

It is Jehovah who keeps the promises He has made to us just as He would to Caleb.

Before the first lot is cast, Caleb reminds Joshua of the promise made to him by Moses who spoke according to the Word of God.

Caleb was totally convinced that Jehovah would give the power to His people to claim victory in the Promised Land.

We have this same promise today!

Our victory is still the fulfillment of the true Promised Land which is not upon this earth.

Moses had sworn that Caleb would inherit the land focused upon by the other spies.

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.

Deu 1:34 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,
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.

What drove Caleb to wholly follow the Lord was the fact of the promises of God would be fulfilled!

As a young man of 40 years old was sent out as a spy, from that point on Caleb strived to obtain the promises of God.

Caleb is the truest example of a Christian in the Old Testament!

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

It takes a wholehearted commitment to the Word of God and the knowledge that the Lord will never break a promise He has made to us!

*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.
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.
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 a willingness to face the enemy who stood opposed to the Children of God.

Why? Because Jehovah had already claimed the victory!

If we are willing to study the Word of God, we can see that God has still proclaimed victory for the people of God!

Caleb praised God that He had kept him alive long enough to see the truth of God and the reality of “Victory”.

The war was not yet over.

There were great giants that stood before him.

You see even our physical strength comes by the Lord.

Caleb was just as able at eighty-five years old, to face the enemies of God as he was when he was a spy sent out by Moses.

We need to understand Caleb made a request for the promise made to him even while the enemies of God’s people still controlled that land and many of them were of a race of gigantic people that will be mentioned for many years in the Old Testament.

We should understand that if the average male or female stood in the midst of a professional basketball team, they would think they were amongst giants.

These giants mentioned by the Bible are just real people who are larger than normal.

Caleb may have been up in years, but he was not about to retire before his work was done.

As Christians we should feel the same way today!

God will tell us when our work is done, and He will then take us home.

Unless the “rapture” of God’s people takes place, our work will not be complete till the Lord takes us home to the true “Promised Land” which is Heaven, the New Heaven where the Lord has prepared us a place.

The army of God is to remain busy until that time!

God has given us our marching orders and has never said to stop but rather to stand on the Word of God.

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The army of God needs more Caleb’s today!

*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.
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.

Caleb marched his family into the land of giants and gained the promised victory.

A fortified city named Kirjath-Arba again became Hebron now exists as one of the oldest cities in the world.

The truth is we must be totally committed to the Lord Jesus Christ.

This wicked world will do its best to knock us backwards, but the army of God must move forward at all times.

We go backwards when we give up.

When we give up on ourselves then we have given up on the Lord.

We must follow the Lord whole heartedly.

There must be a wholehearted commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

The term Israel means the people of God.

The true church is the gathering place for the people of God.

We need to be in our place each and every time God calls us to be there.

We must be committed to the work the Lord gave us to do!

We must wholly follow the Lord all our days!

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.