Scripture reading – Joshua 14
The tribes on the east side of Jordan had been given their inheritance, as Moses had promised (Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua 13). Joshua now addressed the task of giving the other tribes their inheritance, by lot, and according to the instructions that had been established in the Book of Numbers (Numbers 34:2-12, 16-29).
We are reminded the sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, had been adopted by Jacob as his own sons (Genesis 48:5), and would become tribes of Israel in their own right. The tribe of Levi had been chosen by the LORD to serve as priests; therefore, the Levites would receive no inheritance in the land, with the exception of cities, and “their suburbs [lands around the cities] for their cattle and for their substance” (14:4).
Before the lots were cast, and the lands divided by tribes, an inspirational event occurred.
Caleb, Joshua’s fellow spy and warrior (they were the only men, twenty-years and older to come out of Egypt, and enter the Promised Land), came before him. Accompanied by representatives of the tribe of Judah (14:6) who came as his witnesses, Caleb reminded Joshua, that Moses had promised him an inheritance in Canaan (14:6-7).
Caleb compelled Joshua, “Thou knowest the thing that the Lord said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadesh-barnea” (14:6).
Caleb was forty years old when he searched out the Promised Land, and he had brought back a report of all that was in his heart (14:7). While the other spies discouraged the people with their faithless report, Caleb, like Joshua, determined to trust, and “wholly followed the Lord” (14:8). Tragically, Israel believed the unfaithful spies, and refused to trust the LORD and enter Canaan (14:8a).
For his faith, and faithfulness, Moses had declared to Caleb, “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” (14:9). Though forty-five years had passed, and he was now eighty-five years old, Caleb was determined to claim his inheritance as the LORD had promised (14:10).
We remember that Joshua “was old and stricken in years” (13:1), but such was not the case with Caleb. He had been through the hardships of the wilderness, and the battles in Canaan, but neither his spirit, nor his strength had been diminished. Caleb testified, “I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in” (14:11).
What an amazing declaration. Caleb’s passion, faith, and physical strength had not waned. He was not ready to retire, retreat, or spend out his days in a rocking chair. He was ready to take by faith what the LORD had promised him for his inheritance.
Caleb asserted, “GIVE ME THIS MOUNTAIN, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims [who were giants, and by Egyptian records were seven to nine feet tall] were there, and that the cities were great and fenced” (14:12).
What was Caleb’s inspiration? Why would an eighty-five-year-old man claim, what others had feared and fled? Caleb revealed the source of his passion and faith, saying, “If so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said” (14:12).
How did Joshua respond to his old friend’s faith?
Joshua 14:13 – 13And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.
Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith