Summary: Caleb is a wonderful example of someone who starts strong and finishes strong for the Lord. Learn some principals to keep you vibrant in your walk with the Lord.
Calvary Chapel Newberg - Bible Study
Staying in The Game
(possible Wednesday: Caleb the spy - and the attitude of the Christian on God’s mission)
In our society we tend to disregard our elders. Ever since the late 1950’s a culture of youth supremacy has permeated the fabric of our nation here in the U.S. The values, mores, attitudes, and "wisdom" of youth are seen as king. As a result we think that age equals weakness both mentally and physically.
I’m not here to argue the merits of that sociological point of view one way or another. I am here to point out, though, that that attitude also permeates the church. Much of our music and our church culture focuses on today’s generation. Now while it is important to be relevant, what can happen is that we relegate those that have walked with the Lord for many years into the back pews. We shelve them, don’t learn from them, and wall them off from effective ministry.
That’s not much to look forward to as you mature in the Lord, is it? And I don’t think it has to be that way. That’s why today we focus on one such a man: at over 80 years old he was as vibrant, strong, alive, and capable as anyone in Israel. He did it by staying in the game. And his strength was so infectious that it was passed down to his daughter and son-in-law who became a similar leader in Israel. We who still have much growing room can learn from those seasoned Caleb’s around us in the battle for victory in the Christian life.
In these two chapters we see the allotment to the tribe of Judah, Caleb’s tribe, and his story of conquest.
Verses 1 - 5
The author of Joshua (possibly one of the elders who worked for Joshua) begins chapter 14 tying the tribes east of the Jordan in with the rest of the nation.
A couple of things to note. This was apparently a protracted process. Judah gets their allotment first, then when their area is settled, the rest of the tribes west of the Jordan. The HQ moved from Gilgal to Shiloh.
It was not the fiat of Joshua, but a joint effort by the high priest, the national leader, and representatives of the people. It may be that they picked lots for general areas then worked out the final borders together.
We really don’t know how the lot worked. Barnes suggests two urns, one with tribal names and one with general districts. They would pick out of the two urns simultaneously. It could have been the Urim and the Thummim, which was a device that the High Priest used to get the will of God for Israel.
Verses 6 - 12
Caleb was 40 when he went into spy out the land, 38 years in the wilderness, and now he is 85-that leaves 7 years for the conquest of Canaan.
The cities of the Anakites were the very thing that the 10 faithless spies used to discourage Israel (Numbers 13:28-29). Caleb simply viewed them as a challenge.
Moses promised Caleb land in Canaan in Numbers 14:24. It wasn’t a specific piece of land, Caleb chose that for himself.
The tribes were supposed to get territory corresponding with their size. But Judah gets a much larger area of land than the numbers would indicate. It shows their preeminence among the tribes of Israel.
Verses 8 - 12
"The Valley of the Son of Hinnom" refers to the valley on the south and east of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was not a part of Judah’s territory but Benjamin.
Verses 13 - 19
Keriath-sepher means "city of books." Perhaps it was the seat of learning for the Canaanites. It is located near Hebron.
"Caleb’s brother" can refer to any male member of the same clan or tribe. But in Judges 1:13 and 3:9 it refers to him as Caleb’s younger brother.
Springs of water would be very valuable in an agrarian society.
I think that Achsah was a pretty gutsy girl and took after her father in her manner. It also shows they had a close relationship. Also notice that Caleb was not interested in just anyone marrying Achsah-he chose the guy who showed he was not afraid in the face of great obstacles and danger-someone very much like Caleb.
Othniel later became one of the judges of Israel (Judges 3:7-11) and delivered Israel from a Mesopotamian king. He ended up judging Israel for 40 years.
Verses 20 - 62
Zorah and Eshtaol (33) were the settings for Samson’s exploits in Judges 13 and 16.
(45) Ekron, Ashdod, and Gaza were all Philistine towns and though given to Judah, they were not captured until many years later by David.