CALEB MY SERVANT
Moses had sent out 12 spies to spy out the land and to bring back a report confirming the Word of God. However, the spies returned with a negative report seeing giants in the land that made them feel like grasshoppers in comparison to them.
Only Joshua and Caleb returned with a positive report saying that Israel was able to conquer the land. The other spies admitted that it was indeed a land that flowed with milk and honey as the Lord had said, but they refused to believe that God’s people could conquer it.
Israel rebelled against the Lord on that day, but Joshua and Caleb stood with Moses on the Lord’s side. Consider God’s servant, Caleb.
I. CALEB “WHOLLY FOLLOWED THE LORD”
A. Moses testified on Caleb’s behalf, Numbers 32:11-12, “Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: 12 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.”
B. Six times in the Bible we are told that Caleb “wholly follow the Lord.”
1. His own personal testimony, Joshua 14:8, “Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.”
2. Moses confirmed Caleb’s testimony, Joshua 14:9, “And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.”
II. CALEB SERVED GOD DISPITE THE OBSTACLES
A. He was firm and constant under pressure, Numbers 14:9-10, “Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. 10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.”
B. Caleb was 85 years old, 25 years older than the other men when they entered the land, Yet he and his family alone, of all the tribes who entered the land, were able to complete God's command to drive out all the pagan inhabitants from his inheritance—even though these were the same fearsome giants who had so terrified the ten spies forty-five years earlier, Joshua 14:12-15, “Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said. 13- And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. 14- Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel. 15- And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.”
III. “IF ANY MAN SERVE ME, LET HIM FOLLOW ME”
John 12:26, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”
A. The True Servant of God keeps God’s Commandments, John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
1. This is a test of love for the Lord, John 14:21, 23, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 23- Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
2. He takes up his cross and follows, Mark 8:34,“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
a. They leave the world behind, Matthew 8:22,“But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.”
b. God makes them soul winners, Matthew 4:19, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
B. Many say that they love the Lord but do not do what He says, Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
1. They do not honor the Father, Malachi 1:6, “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?”
2. God is not fooled, Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
3. He knows those that are His, John 6:64, “But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.”
Caleb was one of the great men of the Word of God that is not heard of much, but who was a man of great faith who loved his Lord.
Without a doubt we need men of his caliber today serving God. Perhaps he can be an example for us to follow in a time when many so-called Christian men are without courage and conviction.