Summary: The Secret to succeeding where others before you have failed. (The Caleb Spirit)

“Succeeding Where Others Fail”

Joshua 13:1-14:12

One of the most difficult tasks we have in life is to be faithful and to do the best you can when you are not in the spotlight, and someone else gets all the attention and credit.

The hardest instrument to learn to play in life is “second fiddle.”

The real test of our commitment to the Lord is how well we function when we have to work behind the scenes, making it possible for someone else to be in the limelight.

Joshua’s friend Caleb is one of the best examples in the Bible of that kind of commitment.

There is not a lot said about Caleb, although we do know that he was equal to Joshua in his unwavering commitment to the Lord.

Caleb was kind of like a staff minister.

We first hear of Caleb upon Israel’s first opportunity to enter into the Promised Land.

Numbers 13:30 NIV

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it."

Caleb had a faith that realized if God had led them to the Promised Land, He could lead them through it.

Out of 600,000 men in Israel when they arrived at Canaan, only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter the Promised Land.

When Joshua was chosen to be the successor to Moses, Caleb did everything he could to support Joshua.

Caleb’s faithfulness is unsurpassed in the bible.

At the end of chapter 12, not all of the land is conquered, but the main military threats have been defeated throughout the land.

Joshua is 100 years old, and God tells him that there are other lands to take over.

Joshua is dividing the land between the tribes of Israel when his old friend, Caleb, comes to remind him of a promise made 45 years earlier.

Joshua 14:7-12 NIV

I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, `The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.’

10 "Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said."

Three things made Caleb succeed where 600,000 had failed before.

First, Caleb was a man of Conviction

When Caleb brought back the report of the land, he said, “And I brought him back a report according to my convictions.” V. 7

He had such strong convictions that the people did not understand, and when he spoke to them telling them God would give them the land if they would possess it, they wanted to stone him.

Caleb asked for the hill country of Hebron, which meant he would have to fight the Anakites.

These were the giants that had struck such fear in the other 10 spies.

Why did Caleb want Hebron, which was about 20 miles south of Jerusalem?

Hebron was an important part of their heritage.

• It was where Sarah, Abrahams wife had died and was buried.

• Abraham was later buried there.

• Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Leah were buried there.

• It was where they buried the bones of Joseph.

Hebron had great spiritual significance.

Caleb was a man of convictions because he believed God would do what He promised He would do.

Caleb had to wait 45 years for his desires to come to fruition, but he never gave up.

During those 45 years it would have been easy to compromise his convictions and side with the majority, but he had stand alone faith.

He refused to give in to peer pressure or popular opinion.

He did not fear what others thought about him.

2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

To succeed where others have failed Caleb was a man of convictions, and …

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