Read Joshua 14 -- 16
The Anakim had been driven out of Hebron by Joshua, perhaps five years before this time (Joshua 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.
At Caleb's "retirement" age of 85, he recounted to the younger generation how God had brought him thus far: I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt: but I wholly followed the Lord my God (14:7-8). Caleb's unshakable faith in the Word of God was the result of four spiritual characteristics.
The first can be seen in Caleb's report as a spy: I brought him (Moses) word again as it was in my heart. He spoke his convictions from his heart as he faced the opposition of the other spies and the people. He stood alone with Joshua because both men had faith in the promises of God. We are sometimes afraid to speak about our faith when our convictions are unpopular; but the person blessed of God speaks what is in his heart on spiritual issues.
The second characteristic in Caleb was evident when he boldly said: I wholly followed the Lord my God. Caleb was unaffected by what others said or did. And so it is with all who wholly follow the Lord, desiring as their reward the privilege of accomplishing what Christ has called them to do.
Caleb revealed a third spiritual characteristic when he spoke of the Lord as my God. The others had never passed from "our God" to "my God." Like Caleb, the opportunity to have a personal relationship with the Lord is open to everyone.
Caleb's courageous spirit not only inspires us, but it reminds us that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (give up) (Isaiah 40:31). The truly blessed are faithful to God.
The fourth characteristic that made Caleb victorious in life was his faith in the Lord and the power of His Word. At an age when most people would retire, Caleb's faith had remained the same as it was more than 40 years before when he declared: Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spoke in that day . . . if the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said (Joshua 14:12). The person who has his heart fixed on the Lord and is trusting in His Word is not afraid to speak out and move forward to accomplish the Lord's will.
Yes, most of us will face giant "Canaanite difficulties" as well as friends who attempt to discourage us. Surely our faith ought to far exceed Caleb's, inasmuch as we have so much more of God's Word, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the almighty King's command and promise: Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: 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 (Matthew 28:19-20).
Christ Portrayed: By Caleb, who wholly followed the Lord (Joshua 14:8,14). Our Savior said: Behold, I have come . . . to do Your will, O God (Heb. 10:7).
Word Studies: 14:9 sware means said under oath; 15:3 fetched a compass means curving around.
Government Officials: Rep. Howard Coble (NC) and Rep. Karen McCarthy (MO) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KBCL-AM, Shreveport, LA · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by The Word's Servant · Country: Belarus (10 million) northeastern Europe · Major languages: Belarussian and Russian · Religious freedom · 48% Russian Orthodox; 22% Roman Catholic; 1% Protestant; 1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Rely upon the Lord at all times; He is your refuge (Psalms 62:8).
Optional Reading: John 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 2:10