“Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzites ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. (Hebron used to be called Kiribati Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.) Then the land had rest from war.
Many Christians think they need to believe in God well to receive blessings, but we have to realize that we have already received all the blessings in Jesus Christ. There is nothing more that we need, because God has already given everything to us. The fullest life we can live is not through material wealth or possessions, but through Jesus Christ alone.
Caleb says in verse 12, “Now give me this hill country, which the Lord promised me. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified.” This is a reference to the book of Numbers, when the Israelites sent out the 12 spies. 10 of the spies thought conquering Canaan was impossible, but Joshua and Caleb thought differently, and they had faith that God would give them the victory he had promised. In the scripture reading, Caleb confesses his right to victory as a child of God, because he valued and believed in God’s covenant. We need to restore that kind of faith today, because God has given us all the blessings in Jesus and it is our right as children of God to live in faith and victory, conquering this world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We should be the ones to influence the world yet we are influenced by and fearful of the world, full of disbelief and doubt, like those 10 spies. We need to come out of that state with his promise.
How can we do that? There is a limit to our own power, so it must be by God’s power, holding onto his covenant. God had promised them the land of Canaan but the process wasn’t easy, because the land was filled with other inhabitants and idols, just like today. When we think about idols, we think of Buddha, or other statues and images. However, anything we love more than God, anything that we put above God is an idol. God tells us to “go and conquer the land of Canaan”. God does not want us to be enslaved by the world, but to go out and have victory with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s restore that rightful faith that God gave us to enjoy, like Caleb did. How? By holding onto God’s promise. Like Caleb conquered Canaan, let’s conquer our disbelief, and have victory over our circumstances.
However, Satan does everything to steal this right away from us.
What did Caleb do?
1. Rightfully Enjoyed the Covenant
The covenant refers to God’s promise. Many think we receive salvation because we go to church, or because we do good things. No, ultimately, we are saved because we hold on to God’s promise that when we believe in the name of Jesus Christ, we are saved.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 1:12 “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”
Joshua 14:12 “Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said”
Caleb held on to the promise that God would give him the land of Canaan, the promised land the Messiah was to come. Caleb held onto the promise of Jesus Christ.
John 19:30 “It is finished.”
All my past present and future problems have been resolved in Jesus Christ. This is the gospel we must rightfully enjoy.
Stand firm with faith in God’s promises, like Caleb. Holding onto the covenant is not an optional choice, but is a matter of life and death. There are many who stake their lives on sports, or Korean dramas. People will put aside racial division and are revived when they talk about them. What about worship? Worship is able to break down racial division and revive us, but we don’t have that same anticipation for Sunday worship. This is how Satan works, stealing the rightful blessing we were meant to enjoy.
There is a reason why we live today: to live as a witness, to fulfill God’s greater plan of world evangelism.
Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Caleb valued this promise of world evangelism.
2. Rightfully Engaged in the Spiritual Battle
“(Hebron used to be called Kiribati Arba after Arbam, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.) Then the land had rest from war.”
This passage shows that Caleb engaged in battle, just as we must engage in spiritual battle as children of God. Of course God gave us every spiritual blessing, but God wants us to engage in spiritual battle with the gospel of Jesus Christ and have victory. God desires to save many who are lost and raise up disciples through this church. All we need to engage in the spiritual battle for which God has already guaranteed victory.
Some people struggle to come to church because of conflict with even one person. We need to redirect that hatred not toward other people, but toward Satan, who is our real enemy. and steals what is rightfully ours.
I’m not saying we need to detach ourselves from the world, but we cannot let the world, our disbelief, or our problems dictate our lives. How can we fight? By receiving God’s grace through his word, filling ourselves with his spirit and word. God has called me to conquer this land, to live the life of a witness. Regardless of his situation, Caleb never blamed anything or anyone but stood boldly before God. We need to fight, both for ourselves and for our generation.
How can we realistically put this into practice? Through daily personal worship.
3. Rightfully Lived for God’s Desire
“I’m just doing the rightful thing in God’s eyes” How can we live for God’s desire? By saving souls. We know why people are perishing and dying: because they are separated from God. We have the answer, all we need to do is share it.
“So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly.”
We see Caleb fighting not just for himself, but for his future generation. God’s will is to the save the future generation. We need to be careful to receive information on social media as the standard of our truth. This too is Satan’s strategy.
If you fail and you fall, don’t give up. Get up and walk again, toward the finish line God has prepared. Don’t have self pity, but hold onto the covenant and fight the good fight in Jesus Christ, because without Christ, we cannot live life to the fullest.