Summary: Learn from the example of Caleb: (1) Don’t focus on your misfortunes, trust God; (2) Follow the Lord wholeheartedly and you will be rewarded; (3) Be strong in the Lord, because this will bring blessings to others.
Have you ever suffered because of someone else mistakes?
• And you’ve wasted time, efforts, or even money, all because someone did not do it right.
• You suffered because of another person’s mistakes.
You feel that you have been treated unfairly.
• But frankly, life is unfair. No one is immune from sufferings.
• Think for a moment, the Bible did not say life will be fair to us.
• We do go through pain, and that’s no fault of ours.
We are going to look at a person that has such an experience.
• And learn to keep on going despite the unfair blows that life deals to us.
• When we think about the great men of the OT, few will think of him.
• But this man trusted God all his life, and God blessed him.
God has given the nation of Israel a gift – a piece of land.
• A group of them saw the land, but few shared this man’s optimism. (Num 13)
• There were obstacles to be overcome; big obstacles.
• They all saw the same piece of land, but most did not agree with this man.
They should have fight and go straight in, he said. But they chose not to.
• Why was his view so different? He has faith in God.
• That makes all the difference. In fact, that’s the only difference.
Most of us see similar situations today, but not all share the same view.
• Between a person who is afraid, and the one who is confident, is the placement of our faith. Where did you put your faith?
The majority had faith in the power of men.
• They saw huge walls and giant soldiers, while they were just “grasshoppers”.
This man had faith in the power of God.
• To Him, God was greater than the biggest problem.
• He did not lie about what he saw.
• He did not minimize the problems; he just magnified God.
• He held on to his conviction. The majority is not always right.
But sadly, in this world, we go by the majority.
• To cut the story short, the nation of Israel made a U-turn back into the desert.
• And they made circles in the wilderness for the next 40 years.
Here is a lesson for us:
When you do it God’s way, He’ll lead you through a straight path.
Each time when I seek Him first, I end up completing my tasks in quicker time.
• There were occasions when I read and read, and try by my own efforts, to come up with something to preach, and nothing comes up.
• When I stop doing all these and start by praying and seeking Him, thoughts come to me and the words just flow.
Seek God, and you’ll take the fastest route to success.
When you are doing your projects, and you’ve limited time, pray!
• Ask God for wisdom. He will guide you to the information you need and you can end up completing the project in quicker time!
• You’ll be surprised, to see God guiding you to the resources you need and save you lots of time. He knows everything you need to know for your project.
Well, that was 40 years ago.
• They’ve finally crossed the line and stood in the land God promised them.
• You can’t run away from what God has planned.
• You’ll make circles and then end up where He wants you to be.
• You might as well believe Him in the first place, and avoid the unnecessary pain and disciplining.
Now they are all ready to divide the land among themselves. And this man spoke up. Let’s read Joshua 14:6-15.
By now, you should know that this man I’m talking about is Caleb.
• He is now 85 years old. He has never given up on claiming God’s promise.
• 14:12 “Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day.”
• It wasn’t an easy thing – the mountain was inhabited by a race of giants who lived in huge, fortified cities.
• It really doesn’t bother him; he held on to what God has said and believed that God is going to give it to him and his family for generations to come.
Because of the unbelief of the ten spies and the rest of Israel, Caleb had to wander in the desert for 40 years, when he could have been enjoying his inheritance.
• But Caleb did not give up just because the majority was wrong.
• He continued to trust God, knowing that one day he would claim his inheritance.
The author wanted this to be known, and repeated a phrase several times: