Sermons

Summary: What character of the Bible best describes us? Are we claiming the mountain that God has for us?

Caleb – 11th May 2008 am

Joshua 14:6-15

Caleb was a man who finished well. It is a great thing to finish well. Paul tells of his fear of finishing up his life as a wicked old man on one of God’s rubbish dumps, of being a “Castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27) Many people have started well but have not finished well. Solomon started well, king Saul started well, Lot started well, and Demas started well. John Phillips says, “The Bible is strewn with the wreckage of people who started well but ended as castaways.

As we get older we may become weak in body, but the important thing is to be strong spiritually, strong enough to say to God “Give me this mountain!” Let us take on a mountain before we die.

This passage centres on a man called Caleb. Caleb was a part of Israel when they left Egypt. He was there when God divided the waters of the Red Sea. By the way - Israel crossing the Red Sea is a picture of Salvation. Free from bondage and free from Pharaoh.

Observing Israel as they journey through the wilderness shows us there is much more to salvation than just being set free. God had a land flowing with milk and honey prepared for them. It would be a land of giants and a land of battles, but it was theirs if they wanted it. Now, as you know - Israel chose to wander in the wilderness. Here’s another great picture of the Christian life.

God saves us, and promises us that we can have a life of victory and intense spiritual joy, but rather than claim what is rightfully ours - things like peace, joy, fellowship, power, and the glory of God, we choose to live in a spiritual wilderness, defeated and depressed.

What was it that enabled this 85-year-old man to possess that which God had promised him. Caleb pictures the Christian who is willing to pay the price, fight the battles and win the victory that God has waiting for him.

I. Caleb Followed the Lord – Joshua 14:8-9, 14

Now the first key to Caleb success was that God had all of Caleb that there was! Note the repeated phrase "Wholly followed the Lord." This is said about Caleb 6 times in the Old Testament. It is a phrase that means "To close the gap." It refers to the fact that Caleb was committed to keeping the distance between him self and the Lord at a minimum.

Every inch, every ounce, every nerve, every fibre of Caleb belonged to God. Now you may think that because you are not a preacher or deacon or SS teacher or whatever, God doesn’t expect to have all of you. Wrong! God deserves your all.

If you are saved, you are all His anyway - 1 Cor. 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? [20] For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

The man who kneels before God can stand before anybody or anything. Our commitment to Christ affects all our other relationships. The more devoted we are to Jesus, the more faithful we will be to our church, family, and friends.)

All Jesus wants from you is your total commitment. Anything less will keep you from reaching your Canaanland victory.

II. Caleb Believed the Lord – Joshua 14:12

What was it that gave 85 year old Caleb the idea he could be a giant killer? Caleb’s confidence was in God’s word.

Deut.1:34-36, "And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying, Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD.

In Canaan the spies had seen the sons of Anak, a race of giants, they had seen themselves as grasshoppers. Not Caleb.

• When others saw giants, Caleb saw God.

• When others saw cities walled up to heaven, Caleb saw cities reduced to rubble.

• When others saw a dreadful enemy, Caleb saw a defeated enemy.

• When others saw only foe’s, Caleb saw fruit.

Caleb had seen the Promised Land and while others complained, Caleb looked for a mountain where milk and honey flowed. He was able to see beyond his circumstances into the promises of the Lord.

Faith is more than saying that you believe; it is acting on what you believe. Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

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