Summary: If we want the promises of God, we have to be willing to step out and take hold of them.
Mountain Believing Faith: Part 2
Text: Joshua 15:13-19
1. Illustration: ‘You see things as they are, and ask ”why?” But I dream things that never were, and ask “why not?” (George Bernard Shaw)
2. Faith is a verb, not a noun. Therefore, faith requires action. Once we have believed the promises of God, we need to act on the promises of God.
3. All too often, we do not receive what God has promised because we were unwilling to step out in faith.
4. We have spoken already about the faith of Caleb.
a. How during the time in the wilderness he had come back with a favorable report in scouting the land.
b. How at the age of 85, he was ready to claim the promises of God.
5. In our text today, we see how he was willing to not only believe the promises of God, but to act upon them. We can see it in his:
a. Conquering the mountain
b. Conquering sacrifice
c. Conquering a request
6. Read Joshua 15:13-19
Proposition: If we want the promises of God, we have to be willing to step out and take hold of them.
Transition: First, we see Caleb...
I. Conquering the Mountain (13-14)
A. Caleb Drove Out
1. Back in chapter 14, we read about Caleb coming to Joshua, and in faith requesting the land that had been promised him by the Lord when they were in the wilderness.
2. However, requesting something is not enough. Caleb had to take an even bigger step of faith. He had to go and take the land.
a. Illustration: I can offer to someone my 12-string guitar, but until they go up and take the guitar, it does them no good.
b. God had promised him the land, but in order to possess it and live in it, he had to go and take it.
c. It was more than just the faith to believe, Caleb had to have the faith to receive it.
3. To go in and take this land was truly a step of faith for Caleb. Verse 13 tells us, "Caleb was given the town of Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), which had been named after Anak’s ancestor."
a. Caleb’s challenge was the same one that they faced in the wilderness - the Anakites were huge!
b. As compared with the Israelites, they were tall like giants, and it would therefore seem that the "giant" Goliath and his family were of their race.—(International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
c. Num. 13:33 We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!”
d. They hadn’t gotten any smaller over the years, and they would be a formidable foe.
e. It was now up to Caleb to drive out the enemies who were still embedded in the territory assigned him.
f. They weren’t just going to lie down and give Caleb the land; he had to take it from them.
4. Taking it from them is exactly what Caleb did. In verse 14 it says, "Caleb drove out the three groups of Anakites—the descendants of Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the sons of Anak."
a. The phrase "drive out," means to dispossess or lay siege to.
b. He went in, took the land from them, gave them a good old fashioned whoppin’ and through them out.
c. He didn’t just go in and politely ask them to leave; he took them by the scruff of their necks and through them out.
d. He didn’t care how big they were or how many of them their were, because he knew that the Lord was with him.
e. Rom. 8:31-32 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
5. It is ironic whom the leaders of this band were that Caleb drove out: Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai.
a. These three are mentioned in Num 13:22 as having been at Hebron when Caleb and the other spies went into the land the first time, forty-five years earlier.
b. So there is a certain poetic justice in Caleb’s now driving them out of the land that he had urged the Israelites to take a generation earlier.—(New American Commentary)
c. He wasn’t afraid of them then, and he wasn’t afraid of them now.
d. He knew that as long as the Lord was with him, there was nothing that he could not do.
B. Taking the Mountain
1. Illustration: "Entering into a relationship with God is not just about rewards we receive in this world or the next but rather how we show God that we are serious about our relationship with Him…Commitment is demonstrated through action" (The Ten Commandments: The Significance of God’s Laws in Everyday Life, p. 7, 8).