Joshua 14 &15

Caleb’s Reward


In The 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta – There were several – awesome stories & Moments like in all Olympic games

A)But of all the stories – the one that was Probably the most inspirational – was reported in  US News & World Report


B) It involved an American runner– by the name of Tony Volpentest

1) I’m sure that most if not all of you have never heard of Tony – for you see although he performed in the Olympics that yr./ not the ones your thinking


C) Tony ran in the Para Olympics - he was born without hands or feet. hoping to make friends/ Tony took up track as a high school sophomore,. 1)Fitted with lightweight carbon-fiber prostheses that mimic the muscle action of natural feet, he became a world-class sprinter.


D)Although  he's not as fast as Canada's Donovan Bailey, who won the  gold medal in Atlanta that yr. by running 100 meters in a world-record time of 9.84 seconds.

1)But running on the same track in the Para-olympics, Tony posted his own world record in the same event.


E) The 23-year-old sprinter from Federal Way, WA, clocked in at 11.36 seconds-only about a 2 &1/2 seconds  behind Bailey the world's fastest able-bodied man that yr. { Amazing Story


You know Stories like that are Inspirational – They encourage us to rise above our Limitations / Be they – Physical / emotional / spiritual

A)They inspire us to rise above our hangs ups – be they w/ others or ourselves / Rise above our Fears- & say: Here I am God use me


B) Well the Story in our text this morning is such a story : For in it we see a man who rose above His limitations to do great things for God

1) His name was Caleb – read his story - Rd v.6-15 of Ch. 14


Now there are 5 things that I want us to consider about this man Caleb-

1st Consider who was this man – 2 things to consider

A)#1 His name / #2  We want to look at his Lineage -   So first his name


A)Most of you know that in the Bible, people names and place names have great spiritual significance.


B) Well Caleb's name means "Dog." [UGLY] To call someone a dog in Bible times was the worst insult

1) You can't help but wonder what kind of parents Caleb had that they would name their child this way. See  Dogs were of no value in that culture.


C)All of this hints that Caleb might have been abandoned, an unwanted child who was adopted into  the tribe of Judah

1)   And Judah was  the most Prominent Tribe – from Judah came kings & leaders{ Eventually – Jesus


D) It is interesting to note that in 1 Chron. 2 Herzon is listed as Caleb’s father – Herzon was from the tribe of Judah – possibly adopted Caleb

1)   SO first of all we see that Caleb had an unusual name



The 2nd thing we want to consider is his Lineage

A)We are told in v.6 that Caleb was the son of Jephun'neh the Ken'izzite" Which tells us that Caleb's family origin was Edomite.


B)The Ken'izzites were distant cousins to the nation of Israel. They were descended from Esau, Jacob's brother they were  the sons of Isaac.


C) When Esau lost his inheritance to his brother Jacob, he went and lived in Edom across the Jordan River.

1)The Edomites were long-standing enemies of Israel.




Now I have pointed all of this out because – it has great symbolic application to us – We were outcast because of Sin –

A)Meandering aimless thru life – like a pack of dogs – no direction . But thru the grace of God & the work of Christ – Adopted into God’s family


B) And in Heb 2:11 – Jesus our King – we are told is not ashamed to call us his Brothers & Sisters – He is not ashamed of us

1)   So of you know what it is like to have family members who are ashamed of you – { Or what it is like to be ashamed of yourself


C) But our Lord is not ashamed of us - Our life now has meaning & purpose & Significance –

1)In the same way that Caleb’s life had been touched by God – so has ours & now we have the Privilege of serving God / being used of God


D)When you think about Caleb's origins & all the things that he had going against him as a child, - He refused to be Victimized by his Past

1)   the fact that he lives out his faith with such gusto, vitality, and enthusiasm is SIMPLY amazing. – HE ROSE ABOVE



Which leads us to the 2nd thing that we want to consider about Caleb & that is His Faith

A)In v. 7-9 Caleb recounts the story of when in Num 13 – Moses sent him & the other 11 spies into spy out the land of Promise


B) And as the spies came back there were two reports – the MAJORITY report & the MINORITY report –

1)   The Majority report was 2 fold – all the spies said it was a great land – land flowing w/ milk & honey – but 10 proceeded ….. giants - hopeless


C) The Minority report came from Joshua & Caleb – Caleb was the Spokesmen – Yes land is great – Yes Giants – too big to miss

1)   God has given us the land –


D) The Majority – the 10 unbelieving spies – measured the giants against themselves – Caleb & Joshua measured the Giants against God

1)   The Majority  trembled in Fear / C & J Triumphed in God !!!!


It was there in that Moment that Caleb Presented himself as a man who was willing to live by faith –

A)In verse 7 Caleb says, "I brought back word to him as it was in my heart." It literally says in the Hebrew that his heart was overflowing with confidence,


B)Caleb believed God could take this land thru them. It was this faith that led the Lord to describe Caleb in Num 14:24 as a Man of a Different Spirit.


C) Just a guy w/ a different Spirit – What makes a person that way? It is not that they are looking at the world – thru rose colored glasses


D) But that they see everything in light of the Lord – From God’s perspective – They factor in the Lord –

1)   They see the realities in front of them in light of the Word of God – In light of the Promises of God


Which leads us to the 3rd thing we want to Consider about Caleb – He Clung to the Promise of God

A)More than a million people died in the wilderness. But through all those difficult years, & the 7 yrs of Battling


B) Caleb hung on to the promise that God made him through Moses that he would survive and claim his inheritance in the land.


C)How could he sustain that thru all of the yrs of traveling with these people who were murmuring & complaining about how tough life was?

1)   How did he handle seeing family & friends dying off in the wilderness

       How can Caleb show up at age 85 full of spiritual vitality?


D) The answer is that even though his physical body was in the wilderness, his heart and mind were already in Canaan,

1)Caleb caught a glimpse of the promise of the Reward - & it was Sufficient to keep him true for all the rest of his life { He lived for that Mt


E)Caleb is a great example of the living hope the apostle Peter described in 1 Peter 1:3. Hope based on Rez – Christ & ours / Christ in us

1) This living hope for the future helps us to not just survive but thrive here and now, even when things are really tough, confusing, and discouraging.




Now the 4th thing we want to Consider about Caleb is he knew where his Strength came from: Pick it up in the end of v.10 rd thru v.12

A)Now there was no way that this man Physically was as strong at 85 as he was at 40 – So what does he mean– Strong now as I was then?  [SENILE?]


B) No both times Caleb Knew his Strength was in the Lord { Caleb knew

it is not me – But God in me that will allow me to take them

1)– and because of that here he is at 85 – LET ME HAVE MY MT. I am as strong now as I was then.


C) I Love this heart – that says I am going to press on until the very end


How did Caleb so consistently live this kind of life?

A)There is a certain statement made about him six times in the Bible, three times in the book of Numbers and three times in our passage here,


B)The first time here in our text is in v 8. Caleb says of himself to Moses, "...I wholly followed the Lord my God."


C)In V.9, after Moses has given him the promise of the inheritance, he says, "...because you have wholly followed the Lord my God."

1)   In V.14, Joshua writes why he fulfilled the promise of the inheritance: "...because he [Caleb] wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel."

D)Now That phrase "wholly followed the Lord" literally speaks of 2 things 1) The obvious is that it speaks of an unwavering devotion

1) But it also means that he was filled to the fullest  with God, or flooded with the presence and power of God.



The apostle Paul describes this same kind of authentic Christian life in 2 Corinthians.

A)He honestly talks about the difficulty, the tension of following Jesus Christ faithfully, asking the rhetorical question in 2:16, "Who is sufficient for these things?" Who can live out this kind of life?


B)And then he answers the question in 3:5-6, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our sufficiency is from God, who has qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant...."


C)That new-covenant lifestyle was the key to Caleb's success in life. He completely followed his God, the Lord God of Israel.

1)He was flooded with the presence of God himself.



What set Caleb apart from everyone else is that he wanted the very best that God had for him, and nothing less.

A)To experience the best, he had to allow God to fill him, to pervade every area of his life.


B)So his hope, strength, optimism, and sufficiency were from God. He was totally dependent on the Lord.

1)That was the secret of his life, and what made him a man of spiritual success and influence.


C) The victories he experienced in Hebron and then in Debir were accomplished in the power of God.

1)That is the key to triumph out of tragedy for each one of us.


D) Do you have a Mt to climb/ do you have Giants to Kill ? Do you have a background to overcome – [We are not sufficient of ourselves]

1)But Our Sufficiency is from God & that Sufficiency is only experienced as we yield ourselves to His Spirit – Depend upon His Power


E) Of which the first step is to acknowledge to God that you have no power in & of yourself to get it done !!!!!


Well we can’t leave this study w/out Considering one more thing about Caleb & that is the Contagious affect his faith had on others

A)His life of faith impacts his own family, and through his family it impacts the entire nation of Israel. Ch.15:13-19


B)This is a great story about Caleb's influence. He encourages his nephew Oth'ni-el as they're facing this strong Canaanite city.

1)Caleb is saying to this young man,"You can take it. We can conquer this city."


C) Oth'ni-el, who has already seen the results of faith in his uncle Caleb's life LEADS the victory over the city and gains his young bride, Achsah - daughter


D)And In the period of the Judges, Oth'ni-el will become the very first judge that God raises up  to lead the nation of Israel during that dark, confusing, tumultuous period. - He will continue the family spiritual leadership.


Now Caleb’s daughter Achsah was also influenced by Caleb’s faith :

A)As a new bride, Achsah comes back to her father asking for his  blessing on her life & her marriage,& also for the gift of these springs of water.


B)Her father's influence on her is apparent. She is not afraid to ask for the best, the highest, the greatest good in this place.


C) The area around Debir was dry and barren & the possession of those springs was vital for agriculture & also their live stock

1) Those springs are still there today Hundreds of gallons of water per minute gush from them.

So Caleb Became a source of blessing, encouragement, spiritual influence, and strength in his own family & to those around Him

A)His Family blessed the rest of the nation for centuries to follow


B) But that is the result of the life that is lived by faith – The person who is willing to Believe God – Cling to the Promise

1)   Surrender his heart to be whole heartedly – and Completely  flooded with the presence of God himself.


C) That person will have a Contagious affect upon others !!!!

1)   Kids / Friends / the Church / maybe even History –


Maybe your sitting here today thinking – Well my kids are all grown – I really don’t see them – Lost that influence –

A)Never too late – But there are other kids you can influence – They are in the Class rooms on the other side of that wall


B) I can think back of the Sunday School teachers – youth group counselors 

Who made a huge influence on my life

1)   I know are part of the reason I am doing what I am doing today


C) Men & women who modeled Faith – Men & women who model what it meant to be a Servant

1)   Biblical mandate to train up the next Gen. – We as a Church need to take that more seriously


D) I don’t feel called or gifted to teach kids –  Fine you can be an extra body in a Class room to keep order so that those who are gifted can teach

1) You can be a vessel of love to a child who is hurting – You can be a source of encouragement to a Child/ Your encouragement ignites their faith


But it is not just the kids that we influence – All of us who have been in the Lord for a while – should have some spiritual kids

A)People we have brought to the Lord or someone younger in the faith that God has brought into our lives

B) A person  who will invest time to help them grow up in Jesus / Help them get grounded – Help them Develop

1) Make yourself available to the Lord & allow him to use you to be a Caleb in the Life of someone else



C)So we see this inspirational story:

1)Caleb, the outcast who had few personal resources, a terrible family background, & nothing within himself to give.


D)Yet because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel, he was a hero, a great encouragement to us.

1) More importantly, according to the Scriptures, a man of faith like Caleb is heroic in God's eyes. The Lord looks on him with great delight.