Summary: Lessons from the life of Caleb.
Give Me This Mountain
This morning we talked about God sending people for a particular mission. Tonight we are going to examine Caleb, one of the spies sent into the Promised Land to scout it out.
We will read from Deuteronomy 1:19-33. In this passage, the Israelites are ready to go into Canaan after their forty years of wandering. Before they go, Moses talks to them. He reminds them of how God has taken care of their needs. He reminds them of God’s perfect law. And he reminds the Israelites that they have not always been faithful to God. In some ways, the book of Deuteronomy is a record of Moses’ last words. He encourages the Israelites to be faithful while he must stay behind, forbidden from crossing the Jordan himself. In the brief section that we will read, Moses recounts the events of the spies sent in forty years earlier.
19 Then, as the LORD our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites through all that vast and dreadful desert that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea.
20 Then I said to you, "You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the LORD our God is giving us.
21 See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
22 Then all of you came to me and said, "Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to."
23 The idea seemed good to me; so I selected twelve of you, one man from each tribe.
24 They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshcol and explored it.
25 Taking with them some of the fruit of the land, they brought it down to us and reported, "It is a good land that the LORD our God is giving us."
26 But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God.
27 You grumbled in your tents and said, "The LORD hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us.
28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, `The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’ "
29 Then I said to you, "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them.
30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes,
31 and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place."
32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God,
33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.
34 When the LORD heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore:
35 "Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers,
36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly."
37 Because of you the LORD became angry with me also and said, "You shall not enter it, either.
38 But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it.
39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad--they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.
40 But as for you, turn around and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea. "
41 Then you replied, "We have sinned against the LORD. We will go up and fight, as the LORD our God commanded us." So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country.
42 But the LORD said to me, "Tell them, `Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’ "