Last night in our prayer meeting, we took a few moments to examine the life of Caleb. I love to do character studies on the lives of those that we find within the pages of Scripture. I also enjoy reading loud reviews of great Christians great preachers. So, when I came across the life of Caleb, I was excited to learn from him and to see how God used him during his time on this earth. What I found did not disappoint and I hope it will be as much of an encouragement and challenge to you as it was to me.
There are only about 30 verses written in Scripture about Caleb. Not very much when you consider who he was and what he did for God. Nevertheless, the verses that we do have are power packed and of a great challenge. Joshua 14:8-15 pick up at the end of his life when he is getting the inheritance that God had promised to him for his faithfulness. It is one of the shortest and yet one of the most powerful passages of Scripture describing one man’s devotion to God.
Here are some things that we see about Caleb’s life:
1. He was a man of Conviction
Numbers 13:25-33 tell us that when it came time for the spies to give a report of what they found in the promised land, ten of the spies described it as a wonderful land that would be impossible for them to conquer. Joshua and Caleb on the other hand believed God and encouraged the people to move forward and to do what God had told them to do. This kind of conviction caused Caleb to stand out from the other spies and even the rest of the people. The main reason for his standing out was his conviction to stand up for God. This is true conviction! Standing for God despite the obstacles and then being willing to put your words of conviction to action…just as Caleb and Joshua did.
2. He was a man of Consecration
Joshua 14 uses a phrase three different time to describe Caleb (vv. 8; 9; 14). That phrase is that Caleb “wholly followed the Lord…” This word, “wholly” has the idea of “being filled completely or to fill and hand so full that there is no space left.” Caleb followed God in such a way that there was no room in his life for doing his own will or following his own desires. His only focus and desire was to follow the Lord and to do what God wanted him to do. What a summary of true discipleship! I hope that I can say this at the end of my life! I hope that those that knew me would be able to put on my grave stone…”He wholly followed the Lord!” What a testimony and what a challenge!
3. He was a man of Courage
Joshua 14:10-11 tell us of the courage of Caleb. It was a courage that never left him. It was a courage that causes him to follow and fight for the Lord and then to wait 45 years to receive the blessings that God had promised him. Now at the age of 85, he states that he would be willing to do it all again, even at his current age, because God meant that much to him.
God greatly blessed Caleb for his service. The end of Joshua 14 tells us of at least three blessings that the Lord gave to him. First, he received a long life. Second, he received great blessing. God gave him and his descendants one of the best portions of the land as a reward for his faithfulness. Third, Caleb received peace and rest. The rest of Caleb’s life was marked by peace and the land was at rest. God allowed Caleb the chance to enjoy the blessings that he was given.
May the Lord help all of us to learn from the life of Caleb. May these same characteristics be true of us for the glory of God!