Summary: Extraordinary faith plus essential focus results in extravagant blessing
EXTRAORDINARY FAITH, EXTRAVEGANT BLESSING
Joshua 14:6-15; 15:13-19 (ESV)
Preached by Rev. Ralph Juthman at LPC
August 21, 2011
Caleb was a person of extraordinary faith WHO RECEIVED AN EXTRAVAGENT BLESSING.. Nothing could deter, discourage, or intimidate him.
There is not much written about him. In fact, his entire life story is summarized in 5 short chapters of the Old testament.
There are two note worthy things that stand out about Caleb.
First of all, Caleb is noted to be the only person in all Isreal who completely drove out the enemy and received all his allotted inheritance
Secondly, Caleb’s success could be summarized in five words,
HE FOLLOWED THE LORD WHOLEHEARTEDLY.
Whether it was in the strength of youth, the darkenss of the lonely desert Caleb remained true to God and focused on the promises that had been given him.
Caleb had been one of twelve leaders of Isreal who had been commissioned by Moses. To spy out Canaan sme 45 years earlier.
You will recall how in Numbers 14, that ten of the men were frightened by the giants, fortified cities, and military expertise of the Canaanites. Only Caleb and Joshua stood up and urged Isreal to unite together and take the land God had promised and provided.
Here is a thought provoking question. Can you recall the names of any of the other ten spies? NO?! That is because we seldom remember the names of those who simply blend in with the majority.
Most of our heros are people who stood against the popular notions of their day and chose to forge ahead no matter what others thought. That’s why we remember Caleb and Joshua.
According to Numbers 14:24, God promised Caleb that he would take possession of a piece of land for himself and his family once Joshua had crossed the Jordan.
Now, following 40 years of wandering the wilderness, and a further 5 yrears of fighting with his fellow Isrealites in conquering Canaan, it is CALEBS TURN.
There were more than enough reasons for Caleb to sit back and take it easy. But at the age of 85, he is still moving forward in faith and taking territory for God.
Caleb illustrates the truth that extraordinary faith coupled with an exceptional focus will result in extravagant fulfillment.
God has spiritual territory prepared for each of his children to possess. Caleb’s example of extraordinary faith serves as an example of how we can expereince God’s extravagant fulfullment in our lives.
1. EXTRAORDINARY FAITH OBEYS GOD NO MATTER WHAT OTHERS DO TO DISCOURAGE ME:
CALEB HAD AN UNUSUAL CHARACTER: by that I do not mean he was strange or weird. The Bible tells us that Caleb was the son of Jephunnah the Kennezite.
Would it surprise you to learn that Caleb was not even a true Isrealite? According to Genesis 15:19, the Kennezites were a tribe of Canaan in Abrahems day. Calebs family then was originally outside the covenant and commonwealth of Isreal.
Genesis 36 reveals that Caleb was a descendent of Esau and therefore born into a family that was an avowed enemy of Israel. If that was not bad enough, he had been given a name that no good Jew would ever have. The name Caleb means “dog” in Hebrew. In Semitic culture, dogs were considered unclean. Deuteronomy 23:18 says, “You shall not bring the wages of a harlot or the price of a dog to the house of the Lord your God for any vowed offering, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.” However Caleb got the name he did, it would not have endeared him to the people of Israel.
Somewhere in Caleb’s life, however, a great change had been made in his life. At sometime he had joined himself to Israel and embraced the one true God. Though he was a Gentile and an outcast he became a child of the promises of God.
In Hebrew culture, if you joined Israel you were adopted into one of its tribes and your family name was added into their genealogy. It was though you had always been a part of God’s family. 1 Chronicles reveals that Caleb was adopted into the tribe of Judah. Judah was the tribe from which one day would be born the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ.
This OT picture points to a NT truth.We too have been adopted into the family of God . “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). “You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:15-16).