Most of us remember that Caleb was one of the spies that went into Canaan with 11 other men to prepare for taking the land that the Lord had promised the children of Israel. Caleb chose to go to the important part – the city of Hebron. Now, this is the area that the giants lived and where the grapes were huge and honey flowed everywhere. (There is even a story in the Talmud of the other spies that would not allow the grapes to be taken back because the size might cause the people to want to take the land even though the giants were there and the spies were scared to try.)
So who was this Caleb? Numbers 14: 24 says God saw Caleb as a servant of God, a man with a different spirit, and one who followed God fully! This is really saying that Caleb was like David – A man after God’s own heart! These two are the only men that are said of in Scripture!
But we know some other things too! Caleb was the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite. Caleb was a Gentile – well his father was a gentile but his mother was probably an Israelite. So he was like the Samaritans – they had some Israelite blood but also from other races. The Kenizzite tribe were from Moab so were not liked much by the Israelites.
Caleb’s name means dog and some say that is because he was from a mixed race relationship. Others say that Caleb also means faithful or loyal like a dog. All we know is that Caleb was taken into the tribe of Judah and rose to a place of trustworthiness that he represented Judah as a spy and when this passage takes place, Caleb represents Judah as Joshua is giving out the inheritance for Judah.
So already we know that Caleb didn’t allow his past to keep him from moving forward in his life. He didn’t allow his name to define his future. He was a man that was a servant of God. He was a man that allowed the Spirit of God to influence his decisions.
We know that he suffered 40 years with the children of Israel because the leaders would not believe God (even though he did!). We know that Caleb spoke the truth of the land and called the people to take it even when he was the lone voice to do so! A man of courage! At 80 years old he was fighting just as hard as he wanted to at 40!
1. He Wholly Followed the Lord God!
What this means is that Caleb was totally sold out to the Lord God! He believed in His word. He followed His instructions. He spoke the word of God back to the people to influence them to follow too!
Faith in the Lord God is what makes him who he is! When he hears God speak that is what he will do! And it has brought him a place to be recognized as a man of God! Caleb reminds Joshua what God had promised and that is what he wanted!
2. He Wanted Everything that God Had For Him!
“Give me this mountain.” Caleb knew that the giants lived there and they would not leave without a fight! He was willing to fight the difficult battles because that is what God had promised him!
He would not settle for anything less than the Lord God’s plan for him! Hebron was a special place. It is where the Patriarchs were buried. Caleb knew that this would be a special place for Israel and that is true even until today!
No matter the obstacles, Caleb wanted God’s will! A man of Convictions!
3. Caleb Trusted in the Lord God for His Victories!
His humble way of walking by faith is an example for us! He said, “It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.” Caleb did not take credit for the victories but was dependent on the Lord!
Not only did Caleb trust God for the big wins, but for life itself! In verse 10 Caleb credits God for keeping him alive so he can receive the promise.
It says that Caleb wholly followed the Lord God of Israel and that is why Caleb is known today! He walked with God – he talked with God and lived for God his whole life!
1. What do you notice about Caleb that stands out to you?
2. What does “wholly followed the Lord God mean to you?
3. Are you willing to take on “that mountain” if God calls you to?