Summary: We can expect to receive the inheritance God has promised to us when we faithfully trust God for His provision.
What do we need to do to inherit the blessings that God has promised us? Aren't we promised greater blessings than what the world has to offer? Before we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we sought to fulfill our own desires. We recognized that in order to be successful, we needed to measure up to the world's standards by acquiring more wealth. We sought social positions, or positions in our workplace that gave us the sense of accomplishment we needed in order to feel important. We believed that after we got that certain job, or after we moved into the home we have always dreamed about, we would be content and we could sit back and enjoy the blessings of this world.
But after we accepted Christ into our lives, we saw the promises of this world as empty, unfulfilling promises. We recognized that our new relationship in Jesus Christ entitled us to the blessings that God offers. We realized that the blessings God gives to us, an inner peace, a greater understanding of God's Word, the opportunity to live our lives for his purpose, are greater than the things we can buy or the positions we can hold. As brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ we are made heirs to the blessings God has promised us. If we are to receive the blessings that God has promised us, what do we need to do? We believe that we have greater blessings than what this world has to offer. How can we inherit the blessings God has promised us?
Joshua chapter 14 describes the inheritance of Caleb. Caleb's inheritance was one particular section of the land of Canaan, which was given to the Israelites by God. Just like the inheritances we receive, the land of Canaan was also a gift, and it was to be possessed forever. However, this inheritance had one condition: in order to receive their inheritance, the Israelites were to be faithful to God. The land of Canaan was not just given to the Israelites; they were to trust God to help them conquer it. Caleb did not receive this land as an inheritance because he was a member of a certain family. Rather, Caleb received his inheritance because he believed God's Word and he acted on God's Word.
At this point in the book of Joshua, the land of Canaan was in the process of being divided among the Israelites that were in Canaan. Verses 1-5 in chapter 14 describes how the land was to be divided by lots. Chance, however, did not determine the tribal locations, but rather, God, through the use of the lots, determined the division of the land of Canaan. Beginning in v. 6, Caleb reflects on how he demonstrated the faithfulness to God in his life that enabled him to obtain the inheritance that was promised to him. Caleb demonstrated his faithfulness to God in three different ways. Remember, it was Caleb's faithfulness that allowed him to inherit the land that was promised to him.
In vv.. 7 and 8, Caleb describes his faithfulness to God when he was sent into the land of Canaan as a spy 40 years earlier. The report given by the spies upon their return begins with Num. 13:25 ...
Of the twelve spies that were sent, 10 reported that the land could not be conquered. They praised the land itself, but they concluded that Israel could not conquer it. Caleb, however, disagreed. Caleb believed that the land could be taken in spite of the obstacles that were present. The difference between the report given by the majority group of spies and Caleb's report had to do with the difference in where these spies put their faith. The majority of the spies had faith in the power of men. Their faith was based solely on logic. They compared the large, fortified cities of Canaan with it's strong soldiers to what Israel's army had to offer. I coach football at Mitchell, and this situation reminds me of the time we played
Battle Creek, a town in eastern Nebraska. Battle Creek was like these giants that lived in Canaan: they were big and strong. If fact, Battle Creek even had a running back that weighed 260 lbs.! I know many of our players must have thought, "There is no way we can beat Battle Creek, not with what we have". These 10 spies had the same attitude about the Canaanites, and they said: "There is no way we can conquer the land of Canaan, not with what we have." The 10 spies looked at their own abilities to conquer Canaan. Their
faith was in the power of men.
Caleb, however, had faith in the power of God. To Caleb, God was greater than the biggest problem. Caleb did not lie about the fact that Canaan had giants and fortified cities. He did not minimize the problems; rather, he magnified God. It is interesting to note that Caleb did not give in to pressure. After all, 10 spies said the land could not be conquered, while 2 spies, Caleb and Joshua, believed the land could be taken. Caleb did not sacrifice his own convictions in order to make the majority report unanimous. Caleb believed in the promises of God because Caleb believed in God's revealed Word and he believed that God was able to keep His Word. God stated that the Israelites would inherit the land of Canaan to three men in the book of Genesis: first to Abraham, then later to Abraham's son Isaac, and again to Isaac's son Jacob. The promise that the Israelites would receive the land of Canaan was again repeated to Moses in the book of Exodus. Caleb remembered God's promises to the Israelites, and he believed God was able to keep His Word in spite of the fact that the land of Canaan appeared to be difficult to conquer.