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.\
At 85 years of age I tackled the area with the giants, that which had kept the whole nation out for 38 years. God didn’t miraculously remove them, although He could have. He wanted me to fight them, in His strength, and see Him remove them that way.
The word used to describe the inhabitants I had to battle, Anakite, is correctly translated ‘giant.’ However it refers not just to someone physically large but to someone also large in evil and violence. Egyptian monuments picture them as tall and fat. Og, who lived east of Jordan, had a bed 13’ long and 6’ wide. Goliath, a descendant of some giants who remained in another part of the land, was 9’-9” tall.
The people had been afraid to fight the giants, saying they felt like grasshoppers compared to them. You face giants situation in life where you are unable in your own strength to win but can only do so in God’s strength. Remember another giant-killer, David, and how he had victory by trusting God. 1 Sam 17:45-47 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
Actually David and I were very similar in many ways. Perhaps my example helped encourage him to defeat Goliath. We each had a different spirit from those around us who feared the giants. We followed God wholeheartedly, trusting God would do what He had said He would do. We each saw a situation needed to be addressed and did so without fear of the consequences. God gave David and me physical victory over physical enemies. You can have spiritual victory by your spiritual weapons – the Word of God, over your spiritual enemies. So Moses and Joshua both used me as an example of trust for others to follow. They even wrote about some who followed my example – my own descendants.
I had given my daughter Acsah to my nephew Othniel as a wife to reward him for driving the giants out of Debir. She was a woman of faith in God’s promises to us. She wanted land to settle and also springs of water so they could live there. She, too, believed God’s promise that the land was ours forever. She took me at my word, just as I took God at His. That’s how children learn to trust God, by trusting their parents.
Not only my daughter trusted God, but so did her husband, my son-in-law, Othniel. He continued the godly heritage I had established. He was the first one to judge Israel after my death. The writer of Judges also speaks of me, continuing the same message Moses and Joshua had started – trust God’s Word to have blessing. After Joshua and I had died, there were very few who trusted God. Israel turned from God and was judged for it. God used Othniel to bring deliverance from Mesopotamia, however. Everything was going downhill, though. It would be quite awhile until a truly godly leader again arose in Israel, in fact, not until the time of King David.
Not much else about me in this scroll. Some sons named in the genealogical records. An evil man named Nabal, who had an encounter with David, was a descendent of mine but obviously not one who followed my example. If he would have believed and obeyed God’s word his whole life would have been better!
“Well, granddaughter, I hope that helps you understand. The story isn’t about me, it’s about Him (point upward). Remember to always follow Him, for everything He says is a promise that you can count on. Set an example to those around you by your faith and trust Him no matter what. Here, take your scroll. It’s time for you to get on home.” You remember, too, that everything God says in your book is true. You can count on it. Despite what others do and what circumstances are going on in your life, trust Him! His promises are true. You can stand on them!
PROMISES FOR US TODAY
Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Mt. 11:28
My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Exodus 33:14
REWARD FOR PATIENCE, FAITHFULNESS
But those who hope (wait upon) the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isa. 40:31
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Ps. 40:1-3
SECURITY IN CHRIST
I am the gate: whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. John 10:9
STRENGTH FOR WHATEVER COMES
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:13
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor. 12:9
Your strength will equal your days. Deut. 33:25
He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak. Isaiah 40:29VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Cor. 10:13
(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.)