Mountain Believing Faith Series
Contributed by Mark Schaeufele on Jan 16, 2008 (message contributor)
Summary: Acting on the promises of God is proof of our faith in the promises of God.
MOUNTAIN BELIEVING FAITH
Text: Joshua 14:6-15
1. Illustration: We have our priorities mixed up! For example:
• You go to a doctor whose name you cannot pronounce and whose degrees you have never verified.
• He gives you a prescription you cannot read.
• You take it to a pharmacist you have never met.
• He gives you a chemical compound you do not understand.
Then you go home and take the pill according to the instructions on the bottle.
All in trusting, sincere faith!
2. However, when God tells us something we show by our actions, or lack thereof, that we do not believe Him.
3. Now who are you going to put your trust in, a doctor who you are not sure about, or a God who knows, understands, and controls all things?
4. In Caleb, we see a man who completely trusted the promises of God. Through his life we see:
a. A promise to remember
b. A promise that rejuvenates
c. A promise to receive
5. Read Joshua 14:6-15
Proposition: Acting on the promises of God is proof of our faith in the promises of God.
Transition: In the story of Caleb, we see...
I. A Promise to Remember (6-9)
A. Remember What the Lord Said
1. This story revolves around Caleb son of Jephunneh. What do we know about Caleb?
a. He was from the tribe of Judah.
b. He is also referred to as a "Kenizzite," which means "son of Kenaz," of which Caleb is a descendant.
c. However, the most important thing that we know about Caleb is that he is one of the spies sent out by Moses to check out the land of Canaan.
d. Unlike the majority of the spies, Caleb and Joshua were convinced that God was giving them the land.
e. As a result of their faith, the Lord told Moses that they would enter the Promised Land and receive a portion of it as a reward.
2. That is where this story begins. Caleb comes to Joshua and says, "Remember what the LORD said to Moses, the man of God, about you and me when we were at Kadesh-barnea."
a. He reminds Joshua about the promise that the Lord made to them forty-five years earlier.
b. Notice that Caleb stresses that the promise came from the Lord.
c. He knew that when the Lord makes a promise you can count on it.
d. Even though it must seemed like a life time ago, Caleb still believed and trusted the promise of God.
3. He again reminds Joshua of when they were sent out to scout the land, and that he "returned and gave an honest report."
a. The phrase "honest report" in the Hebrew is literally "just as was with my heart."
b. In other words, he was not concerned, as his brothers were, with how big or how many the people of the land were.
c. He knew in his heart what God had promised, and he was standing in faith on that promise.
d. 2 Cor. 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight (ESV).
4. He goes on to say "For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God."
a. The word "wholeheartedly" translates the Hebrew verb which means "to be full."
b. Caleb was claiming to have fully and completely followed after the Lord.—(New American Commentary)
c. He had trusted the promises of God then, and in that forty-five years his faith had never wavered.
5. Again, he reminds Joshua what had been promised them. He tells Joshua "So that day Moses solemnly promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God.’"
a. To him, God was greater than the biggest problem. Caleb had faith in the power of God—(Bible Knowledge Commentary)
b. Because of his faithfulness, he was made a promise, and now forty-five years later he was ready to claim that promise.
B. Trusting the Promises of God
1. Illustration: During an especially trying time in the work of the China Inland Mission, Hudson Taylor wrote to his wife, “We have twenty-five cents—and all the promises of God! (Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, W. Wiersbe, p. 242)
2. We need to be like Caleb in trusting the promises of God.
a. It doesn’t matter how long it has been.
b. It doesn’t matter how desperate the situation may seem.
c. What matters is that God always keeps His promise.
3. 2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think.
4. God’s promises are not contingent upon circumstances or timing.
a. Just because God’s timing isn’t your timing doesn’t mean that God will not keep His promise.