Today during our monthly Precept meeting, I was blessed to take part in a Bible study on the life of Caleb. He is an interesting character, whom we do not hear much about these days. Many times we hear much about Moses, Joshua, and others yet Caleb seems to be overlooked. He was an amazing example of loyalty and courage. There are several passages that explain his life. I will list them here and link to them so that you can read about him.
I. Who was Caleb?
We first see that Caleb is a man from the tribe of Judah, a leader among the people. He has already proven his worth as a leader. He is Moses’ disciple. Caleb learned how to lead from a leader. If a man or woman wants to be a brave warrior for the Lord, then he or she needs to be trained first. Walking step by step with a leader will train you to view life the way that God does. This is the school that Caleb walked through. Once he became a leader himself, he continued to be submissive to his leader, Moses. When Moses chose Joshua, Caleb did not rebel. He continued to show a submissive attitude to Joshua, even though they were both trained by Moses. When God looks at Caleb, He calls him a servant. Caleb had this spirit. He was a servant leader, just like his teacher, Moses. There are some other important characteristics about this man. He is courageous, ready to live a lifestyle that is counter-culture. He is not afraid to go against the grain. Encouragement was a big part of his life. He confronted the people at the right time for their rebellious attitude and was ready to die for his position yet at the same time, he encouraged the people to be faithful to the Lord and do what He called them to do. Caleb understood the balance between rebuking/confrontation and encouragement. Many leaders fall into extremes when it comes to these two characteristics; either they only encourage and never confront or they rebuke left and right and do not encourage. Caleb found the balance and acted accordingly. Caleb was also a hard worker. When he was given a task, he carried it out exactly as it was given. He was like this because he was faithful to God. He followed God’s plan completely and because of that, he was a hard worker for his leaders and a good servant for his people. Would you like to be a person who leaves a lasting legacy like Caleb did? Are you ready to have the characteristics of Caleb? Do you have a spiritual leader, teacher; a person who is investing in you, training you to be completely dedicated to God? That is the first step.
II. What did he do?
Once he was entrusted with his task, he carried it out. He was not afraid of the enemy, even though they were powerful because he knew that God was on his side and had already promised victory. Caleb did not look at the enemy. He kept his eyes on the Lord and walked by faith in His promises, in other words, he lived by the Word of God. When he returned after completing his task, most of his colleagues were against him and against God’s plan. He was not afraid of them. He confronted them because of their attitude and was ready to die for his stance because his stance was on God’s Word. At the same time, he used the opportunity to encourage the people and challenge them to obey the Lord. They did not listen but that did not stop him from doing his part. At the right time, God intervened and did His part. Later, after Joshua took over the leadership role from Moses (the baton was passed and not stolen) Caleb served Joshua and helps him bring about the promised victory. Caleb is now 85 years old and he asks for the most difficult area to attack and take as his inheritance. He could have stood on his past accomplishments and taken an easier spot but he is courageous and asks for the most difficult. He is just as strong and his mind is just as sharp as it was when he was 40 years old. Another important action was the fact that Caleb took what was invested in him and invested in others. He was trained by Moses and he passed that on to his nephews and children. He was discipled and he made disciples. His disciples took on his characteristics and carried out his vision. Are you ready to go against the grain? Are you ready to put your life on the line because you believe God’s promises? Are you seeking to make disciples? Are you submissive to your spiritual leaders? Do you run away from difficult terrain or are you ready to attack where the battle is the most fierce (spiritually speaking of course)? Are your disciples learning your character and vision? Are you preparing them to continue on after you are gone?
III. What motivated him?
God’s glory motivated Caleb to do what he did. He had already seen the miracles of God and how His Name and fame had spread. He did not want things to stop with the accomplishments of the past. He wanted God’s glory to continue to be manifested by new victories (that He had already promised). Caleb was also motivated by the fact that an assignment had been entrusted to him and he felt the need to carry it out till the end, just as he had been taught by Moses. He was also motivated by the good of the people. God wanted to bless them and the way to blessing was through this trial, overcoming the enemies of the land. They were going to be blessed with a land flowing with milk and honey yet they were about to give that up because of their fear and rebellion. Caleb wanted his people to prosper and he was ready to put his life on the line for that prosperity. Are you the same way? Does your heart break for your people? Do you want them to experience the great things that God wants to give them? Are you ready to confront the fear and rebellious lifestyle of your people so that you can encourage them and lead them to the victorious life that God has for them? What motivates you to get up every morning and live? What drives you to do what you do? Would you like to be like Caleb? Are you ready to be like Caleb?
God’s glory was manifested in the life of Caleb. The rebellious people around Caleb saw God working directly in Caleb’s life. They wanted to do evil to him yet God turned things around and blessed Caleb greatly. Also, Caleb was promised a long life. He was 40 years old when all this happened with the spies and he was promised at least another 40 years. He went through the wilderness with the people and then entered the Promised Land. He received a great inheritance and was a leader among the people. He had children who were faithful to his vision and the Lord. Because of his faithfulness, his family is greatly blessed, along with his nation. His name has been preserved in the history of Israel for the entire world to see. God honored him in a special way. He was a great servant leader who put his life on the line for his people and for the glory of God. Are you ready to do the same?
There are no excuses. Caleb was one of the few faithful people out of about 2.5 million. A small number of faithful people should not stop us from attempting great things for the Lord. Age should not stop us from attempting great things for the Lord and serving our people because it did not stop Caleb. Are you ready to be a brave and loyal warrior for the Lord? May the Lord help you find a leader who will disciple you to be a great warrior.