Caleb the man who fully followed the Lord
Once more we will postpone our lesson on the book of Colossians. We should be in Chapter 2 now but today we will be talking about a good man whom the Lord blessed. For me he was popular for he left an example for us to follow. His name was not included in the Hebrews chapter 11 “Hall of faith” but his life continues to be a blessing to people who knows him and lots of Christian name their son after this man.
Moses planned to go directly from Sinai to Canaan now called Palestine. He sent 12 spies to see the land. The spies brought discouraging report and the people refused to go forward, and would have stoned Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb, except for the miraculous intervention of God. The Jews were within sight of the Promise Land yet they doubted, murmured, refused to obey the Lord. Of the 600,000 (Ex. 12:37-38) men over twenty years old, only two men lived to enter Canaan, Joshua and Caleb. Let us see how the Word of God describes Caleb.
1. A real believer for he followed the Lord fully (Num. 15:24). In what way did Caleb follow the Lord? There were several instances where it is said that Joshua wholly followed the Lord (Num. 32:12, Deut. 1:36, Josh. 14:8-9, 14)
a. In love – He fully love the Lord that he follow everything the Lord says. No question asked. When he was commanded to go to spy the land, he went without complaining, without question. (Deut. 6:5)
b. In Obedience– with his whole heart he followed the Lord willing to suffer just to obey him. (Ps. 119:2, 34)
c. He fully trusted the Lord that he knows everything will be alright (Prov. 3:5) no matter what. He has confidence in the Lord that he is never afraid of any danger.
d. He fears the Lord and he does things that please Him.
Following the Lord may not always be easy. It takes a lot of sacrifice to do it. When you follow the Lord you lose your status. People will persecute you, look down at you, insult you, hate you, and reject you, in some instances they may even hurt you emotionally, physically or even kill you. When you follow the Lord you will invest your time, talent, and possession to Him. Is it worth it? (Mat. 19:29)
2. He was a brave witness for he would not listen to the majority opinion. Num. 13:27-30.
a. The people were overcome by fear due to the discouraging report of the 10 spies. Joshua and Caleb were never scared instead Caleb quieted the people. He tried to calm them down of their fear. Nevertheless, his voice and advice was drowned by the unbelief and complains of the people. I’m sure some of you here have experienced a situation where you tried to speak and be heard but people just ignored your words and refuse to listen. Doesn’t feel good isn’t it? But Caleb was brave enough to stand on his ground. He knows he is on the right side and He is on God’s side. It takes courage to stand alone. It takes courage to take a public stand for Christ. Stephen did it, Paul did it, and the Apostles did it, now it’s our turn to do it.
3. He is a separated believer for he had another spirit with him. Num. 14:24.
a. He was different from the others. His faith exalted and glorified God. The people’s unbelief disobeyed and rebelled against God.
b. When the people murmured against God, Moses and Aaron, and want to return to Egypt, He and Joshua rent their clothes (Num. 14:6). It was a sign of grief, sadness, broken heartedness and anger because of the faithlessness of the people.
c. By this action he may have pleased the Lord that’s why he was called “my servant”. What an honor to be called by the Lord “my servant”.
As Christians we also must be a separated believer. Separate in the sense that we should not be “equally yoked together with unbelievers” and to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2. Cor. 6:14, 7:1). This does not mean that we will living in a monastery and isolate ourselves so that we will have no contact with unbelievers. Later part of I Cor. 5:10 say “for then must ye needs go out of the world”. Jesus commanded: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). What I mean here is the practice of separating from sin and error unto truth and righteousness.
4. He was ready and quick to respond to God’s command. Num. 13:30
a. He wants no delay in obeying the Lord. He was a man of action.
b. For him obedience is number one priority and he would act as soon as possible.
How do you respond to God’s command? Do you do it quickly, as soon as possible or do you procrastinate or delay? I read a story about a man who signed a visitor’s card in the church and indicated that he wanted to be visited by the church. The member who was assigned to visit this guy procrastinated for few weeks. By the time he was ready to visit the guy, President Kennedy was already assassinated. The visitor whom he did not visit is Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of John F. Kennedy.
5. He was a rewarded man. Num. 14:24, 32:11-12.
a. For following the Lord, he got his reward for his faithfulness and obedience. Not only the land he wanted but also he did not die like the other spies.
We too, if we remain faithful and obedient servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, will get our rewards. If not here on earth, we will get it in the afterlife.
Caleb was described in the Bible as a man who followed the Lord fully. He was a courageous and separated witness. He responds quickly as a servant and He got his reward. Would you be like Caleb also? If you follow Christ’s commands, great is your rewards in heaven.
Preached: 17 March 2013