Canaan territories divided among the tribes. Caleb gets his mountain (Josh. 14:6-12). Note his age! As the tribes receive their inheritance, notice how precise the boundaries are laid out.
Verses for Today:
Caleb . . . wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. . . . (But) the children of Ephraim . . . drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute (Josh. 14:14; 16:9-10).
The tribe of Ephraim was powerful enough to dominate the Canaanites so they allowed the idol-worshipping Canaanites to live under their control. Apparently their financial gain from these Canaanites was more important to them than being obedient to God. It is no surprise that the Ephraimites soon became idolators. Many complain and give up when their circumstances "seem" not to be in their best interest.
The Anakim (giants) had been driven out of Hebron by Joshua, perhaps five years before this time (10:2-11; 11:21-22). Now they were back and in control of the territory — undoubtedly, with a much greater determination to retain the land promised to Caleb. But God always honors the faith of men like Caleb who rely upon His Word. Consequently, he defeated the Anakim.
At Caleb's "retirement" age of 85, he recounted to Joshua how God had faithfully brought him that far: Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to espy (spy) out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly (wholeheartedly) followed the Lord my God (14:7-8).
Caleb's unshakable faith can be seen in his report 38 years before as a spy: I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. As he faced the opposition of the other spies and the people, he spoke his convictions, saying: Let us go up at once, and possess it (Num. 13:30).
Caleb and Joshua were willing to believe God. We are sometimes afraid to speak about spiritual and moral issues when our convictions are unpopular; but the person blessed of God, like Caleb, is unaffected by what others say or do and move forward to accomplish the Lord's will.
Surely our faith ought to exceed Caleb's, inasmuch as it is Christ . . . at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us (Rom. 8:34).
Thought for Today:
Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Heb. 6:12).
By Caleb, who wholly followed the Lord (Josh. 14:8,14). Our Savior said: Lo, I come . . . to do Thy will, O God (Heb. 10:7,9).
14:4 save =except; suburbs =pasture lands; 14:7 espy out =take a search in; 14:8 wholly followed =obeyed wholeheartedly; 14:9 sware =promised under oath; 14:12 fenced =fortified; 14:15 had rest =enjoyed peace; 15:6 stone =boundary marker; 15:10 compassed =curved westward; 15:19 nether =lower; 16:1 fell =ent; 16:3 goings out thereof are at =borders reach the sea; 16:10 under tribute =as forced laborers.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Jennifer Cunningham • Country: Burundi (6 million) in east-central Africa • Major languages: Kirundi and French • Losing religious freedom • 51% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 11% Protestant; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and fast in secret so that only the Lord knows (Acts 10:30).
Optional Reading: John 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:7-8