Following the Lord Fully


Text: Joshua 14:6-14

 

I.         God describes for us the character of various men by referring to them by certain phrases

            A.        Abraham was called a friend of God - James 2:23

                        1.         Because that is how God referred to him - II Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8

                        2.         Perhaps that gives greater weight to what Jesus said - John 15:14-15

                        3.         We could spend a lesson just on that, but not at this time

            B.        God sought a man after God’s own heart to replace Saul - I Samuel 13:14

                        1.         And God found such a man in David - Acts 13:22

                        2.         We could talk about what it means love God with all your heart, but not at this time

            C.        There is the perseverance of Job - James 5:11

            D.        The meekness (or humbleness) of Moses - Numbers 12:3

            E.        Each tells us the type of character God desires in his servants

            F.        But at this time we will talk about Caleb, the son of Jephunneh

II.        Twelve spies were sent into the land of Canaan

            A.        Ten came back certain that Israel could not conquer the land - Numbers 13:27-29

            B.        It was Caleb, with Joshua at his side, who disagreed - Numbers 13:30

            C.        But the ten prevailed - Numbers 13:31-33

            D.        Joshua and Caleb tried to get the people to relent - Numbers 14:6-10

                        1.         They had a different spirit that the rest of Israel.

                        2.         They took the unpopular stand because it was the right stand

                        3.         Even when threatened with stoning, they did not back down

            E.        All the adults of Israel were forbidden to enter Canaan, except two - Numbers 14:20-24

                        1.         God recognize Caleb as a man with a different spirit, one who followed God fully

                        2.         Everyone else would die in the wilderness - Numbers 14:28-35

            F.        You know at the beginning of numbers there were 603,500 men 20 years old and up, not including the Levites - Numbers 1:45, 2:32

                        1.         Over the next 40 years, all but two died.

                        2.         That averages out to about 15,000 deaths per year or 41 funerals a day!

            G.        Caleb watched just about everyone he knew die - Numbers 32:11-13

III.       And after 40 years of wandering in a wilderness

            A.        Moses reminded the next generation just before entering Canaan - Deuteronomy 1:35-39

            B.        Caleb was there for the conquering of Canaan

            C.        By this time he is 85 years old - Joshua 14:6-8

            D.        He reminded them that Moses gave him a right to his own inheritance - Joshua 14:9-10

            E.        He is still able to wage war, and he chose the area the Anakims lived - Joshua 14:11-12

                        1.         Do you remember them? They were the giants. The ones the ten spies said were too big and too strong to conquer - Deuteronomy 9:1-2

                        2.         This is the same lineage that Goliath came from

                        3.         Caleb specifically chose to fight the ones everyone else thought was to powerful, to win his inheritance ... at the ripe age of 85!

                        4.         And he defeated them - Joshua 14:13-15; 15:13-19

                                    a.         That Othniel, Caleb’s nephew? He became Israel’s first judge - Judge 3:9

            F.        It is interesting that in Judges 1 there is a long list of how each of the tribes were unable to completely take over their inheritance ... except for Caleb - Judges 1:20

IV.      Application

            A.        So many want to sit back and wait for God to handle matters, but Caleb was out at the front line. He did what he could, knowing God would handle the rest.

                        1.         And he did fade away in his old age. He gave God everything he had.

                        2.         Like Paul, he finished the course - II Timothy 4:6-8

            B.        And at the same time, he did not demand God’s help. He acted even though he did not know he would win - Joshua 14:12

                        1.         Too many people won’t make a move without a sign from God

                        2.         But Caleb knew what God had said, what He wanted and that was enough

            C.        Caleb didn’t do the minimum possible. He reached for the maximum he could do.

            D.        It is easy to go along with the majority, but can you take a stand because it is right, knowing most will oppose you?

                        1.         The majority doesn’t decide morality - Matthew 7:13-14

                        2.         When you think you are alone, remember - Hebrews 13:5

            E.        It is hard to be different from others, but Caleb had a different spirit

                        1.         Do you have that different spirit?

                        2.         In a sense, everyone else was looking at the problem while Caleb was looking at the solution - II Corinthians 5:7

            F.        Caleb held on to the promise. Will you? - I John 2:25


based on an article by Bubba Gardner