Summary: God loves everyone, nevertheless there are those whom He has favored more than others. In this lesson, well explore the story of Caleb and learn why God favored him and how He will favor you.
Does God have favorites? Oh I know He loves everybody. John 3:16 settles that argument. We also know that He does not show partiality toward men but calls all of every nation (Acts 10:34). And yet, when we survey the annuls of scripture, we clearly see that God was drawn to certain individuals more than He was to others. And for those who God was drawn to He showed them favor by granting them certain blessings that were not given to others.
For example, who would argue that God wasn’t drawn to Noah and his family, favoring them more than all others during his time (Genesis 6:17-18)? Or what about Abraham? Didn’t he and God have a special friendship (James 2:23) that was not shared with others? Consider Joseph, is there any doubt that God was specifically working in his life (Genesis 39:2)? And, who would deny that God had special plans for an obscure shepherd boy named David (1 Samuel 16:12-13). Or that He didn’t favor Mary over all the young Jewish girls in Judea (Luke 1:26-28)? So we see God has favored certain people above others. So what does it take to be one of God’s special people, to be favored by Him? To answer that question let’s look at another of God’s favored people, Caleb and learn from Him the traits that God looks for in a person with whom He will favor.
The key to understanding why God favored Caleb can be found in Numbers 14:24, where God said: “But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.” (ESV)
Embedded within this one statement is the three keys for being favored by God. Let’s learn them together so that we too may be one of God’s special people.
#1. Caleb was a Servant
The first reason God favored Caleb was because he was a servant. We’re first introduced to Caleb in Numbers 13. There in verse 2 we learn that God commanded Moses to “send men to spy out the land of Canaan… From each tribe… you shall send one man, everyone a chief among them.” A few verses down in verse 6 we find that the chief that was selected from the tribe of Judah was Caleb. At the very outset of meeting Caleb we see his servant heart.
Not only was Caleb a member of an elite spy organization, (for kicks let’s call it the CIIA, Children of Israel Intelligence Agency) he was also a leader among the tribe of Judah. That’s enough to give anybody the big head is it not? Yet when God looked down and examined the heart of this man He said there’s “my servant.” Caleb was one of those special people who understood the power of a position didn’t come from lording over others; instead it came by serving others. He, unlike other leaders in the Old Testament (i.e. 1 Samuel 12:12-21), knew that being a leader first meant humbling yourself to serve those whom you lead.
Do you want God’s favor then be a servant leader. From Ephesians 5:23 we learn that the “Husband is head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church.” Husbands, do you want to be favored by God? Then be like Jesus and be a servant leader of your wife and family (Ephesians 5:25-27). Fathers, do you want to be favored by God? Then be a servant leader for your children humbly teaching them God’s word both verbally and by your actions (Ephesians 6:4). Elders, deacons, and preachers, do you want to be favored by God? Then be servant leaders to those the Spirit has entrusted you with, not lording over them but humbling yourself and serving as if you were their slave (Matthew 20:25-28). Ladies, do you want to be favored by God? Then be a servant leader in to your family (Proverbs 31:10-31; 1 Timothy 5:14). I think I have expressed this before, but women are to be the heads of the house (“keepers of home” (NKJV) “work at home” (ESV) literally means rule the house ), or in the context of our lesson, servant leaders of the house. She is not to lord over her husband or children but serves them while she leads the house. (Men are head of the family, Ephesians 5:25-27; 6:4, while women are heads of the house affairs.) What do we seen? A servant leader is the kind of leader that is favored by God.
What’s the key then to being a servant leader? That can be found in Philippians 2:3-7. Here the apostle Paul said: “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look no only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”