Summary: This is a sermon comparing and contrasting spiritual vision and ordinary human sight.
Introduction: Briefly: there are two ways of looking at any of the circumstances in our life. We can look at it with ordinary human sight–which is based on what can be done only through human power. Alternatively, we can look at those same circumstances with spiritual vision–which is based on what can be done only through God’s power. Spiritual vision can be defined as that which God puts in our hearts to do when the spiritual need is great and our hearts are filled with the concerns of God. Caleb was a man of spiritual vision. He believed Canaan could be conquered because he believed in God’s power.
Illustration: About 350 years ago a shipload of Dutch settlers traveled 3000 miles, by ship, from Holland to the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness. In the fourth year, the people of the town tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public resources to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway? Here were people who had a vision to be able to see three thousand miles across an ocean to a new homeland, and overcoming great obstacles to get there. However, in just a few years they could not even see five miles out of town. They had lost the vision that got them there in the first place. Moreover, in its place they had settled for just ordinary human sight.
This morning we are going to look at a man from the tribe of Judah–in fact, Caleb was a leader in the tribe of Judah. Moreover, this morning we will see from the example of the life of Caleb a very important weapon that all of us should have in our spiritual arsenal if we are going to continue to be useful to God’s continued Kingdom development here in Fairbanks, Alaska. The weapon I am referring to is the weapon of spiritual vision.
As we examine Caleb’s story in the Old Testament book of Numbers we will see that we always have a choice when we deal with the situations that face us in life. We can choose to deal with these situations as we look at them through the eyes of spiritual vision, or we can choose to deal with these situations as we look through the eyes of our own ordinary human sight.
For example, when you face any of life’s problems, perplexities, trials and tribulations you can chose to view those things either with spiritual vision or with ordinary human sight. When tragedy strikes or sickness enters your life, or the death of a loved one occurs, or some kind of calamity comes your way you can choose to view those things either with spiritual vision or with ordinary human sight. When we look at the wickedness, immorality, spiritual antagonism, and hedonism that pervades Fairbanks, Alaska and we understand that God has called this church to be a force against this evil and ungodliness we can choose to view our task ahead of us with supernatural spiritual vision or ordinary human sight.
It all comes down to this. Do we have spiritual vision that is infused with the anointing of the Holy Ghost that is laced with the Power of God Almighty that raised Jesus Christ from the dead? Or do we have ordinary human sight that is based only on what we by ourselves can accomplish.
I. The report of the spies
A. The spies sent out.
1. Numbers 13:1-3 1Then the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 2"Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers’ tribes, every one a leader among them." 3So Moses sent them from the wilderness of Paran at the command of the LORD, all of them men who were heads of the sons of Israel.
2. For two years, several million Israelites have been traveling through the desert from Egypt to Canaan.
a. The Israelites had seen God do some incredible and marvelous works in their midst during this time that got them to this place.
1) God destroyed Pharaoh and his entire army just after the entire nation of Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry ground.
2) God had given them laws to govern them that had been written by his very finger on tablets of stone.
3) God had provided food and water for them when they had none.