Caleb is one of my favorite unsung heroes in the Bible. He doesn’t get much attention in the Bible and his name isn’t even popular today. How many boys do you know with the name Caleb? Yet he is a remarkable special man. This blog continues a series in which he tells his story.
When Moses died Joshua then picked up the story. He wrote about how God did keep His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph about us being back in our land. What God said did come true, but we had to wait 38 extra years because of unbelief. It could have happened to the first generation out of Egypt but didn’t. The next generation did trust and enter the land. However God’s plans for them were different than for their parents.
God keeps His word but does it in different ways. Sometimes He does it all Himself, like destroying the Egyptian army, opening the Jordan river so we can walk through, knocking down the walls of Jericho or keeping the sun from setting so the battle could be completed. Other times He works through us to accomplish what he wants, as when the Amalekites were defeated on the way to Mt. Sinai or when Joshua led the army to victory over the Canaanites.
Joshua wrote all about this in his book. In the first twelve chapters he talks about conquering the land. He tells how we entered at Jericho and split the country so we could conquer the south first, then the north. That took 7 years of constant warfare.
The second half of his book, chapters 13-21, talks about dividing and settling the land. The individual tribes were responsible for the clean-up operations among the Gentiles who remained in their territories. It seems Judah wasn’t in a hurry to fight for its land and was putting off claiming what was theirs. Perhaps the giants who were still here, scared them. I wasn’t afraid, though. I hadn’t been 45 years ago so why should I be now?
I wanted to move ahead so I came to Joshua to claim the land given me. I was anxious and confident. I still believed God’s statements about the land being ours. God has repeated these promises to Moses (Deut. 11:24) and Joshua (1:4). He told each of them He would be with them so they shouldn’t be afraid (Deut 31:6; Josh 1:9). I knew God’s word was good!
I was 85 years old now. It has been 45 years since God told me the land would be mine: 38 years of wandering and 7 years of battles in the land. Suppose God gave you a promise in 1959 and didn’t fulfill it until this year? Or suppose you received a promise from Him today but it wouldn’t be fulfilled until 2049! We must be patient and wait for God’s timing to keep His word! I had patiently waited 45 years for God’s word to be fulfilled. Now the waiting was up and I was ready to move ahead in faith.
(Joshua 14:6) Now the men of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb, son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.’
(Joshua 21:9, 11-12, 18) From the tribes of Judah and Simeon they allotted the following towns by name…. The fields and villages around the city (Hebron) they had given to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.
Hebron was a priest’s city, but the territory about it belonged to Caleb and his family. I also got Debir and the area around it. It was a tough place to capture. Anyway here I had some of the best land in Palestine, land of my choosing. However the best warriors had already taken and fortified it.
(Joshua 14:10) “Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” 13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the LORD, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly.”
The land was mine the last 45 years but I had to move into it by faith and drive out the giants. Now I still have to face the giants, putting it off just put it off! It didn’t remove ot change anything. Whatever you are putting off facing now will still have to be faced and worked through. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Believing God all that time was great, but then came the time to act on that belief. (Joshua 15:13-15) In accordance with the LORD’s command to him, Joshua gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh a portion in Judah-Kiriath Arba, that is, Hebron. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.) 14 From Hebron Caleb drove out the … descendants of Anak. 15 From there he marched against the people living in Debir.”
PROMISES FOR US TODAY
For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end. Ps. 48:14
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name sake. Ps. 23:1-3
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Ps. 32:8
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isa. 42:l6NEVER ALONE
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Gen. 28:15
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any powers, neither heightnor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:38-39
My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Exodus 33:14
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:7
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)