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Joshua 14:6-15

Give Me This Mountain

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Weekend Messages
  • September 26, 2021

What kind of person blesses the heart of our Heavenly Father? In Numbers 14:24, God declared that His servant Caleb “had a different spirit” therefore God promised that he would inherit a portion in the Promise Land.

Caleb’s spirit along with God’s testimony about him give us insights into the type of person God wants all of us to be. The kind of person that causes God to rise up, take note of, and declare, “Well done My good and faithful servant.”

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Give Me This Mountain
Joshua 14:6-15
September 26, 2021

Introduction

1. What kind of person blesses the heart of our heavenly Father?

2. During our study, we’re going to look at one of my favorite people in the Bible, Caleb.

3. In Numbers 14:24, God said that Caleb “had a different spirit” therefore God promised him an inheritance in the Promise Land.

4. Why was Caleb’s spirit “different?”

5. Usually when someone is called “different,” it means they have “issues.”

6. But this was not what God was saying about Caleb.

7. God’s testimony about Caleb gives us insight into the “different” spirit that God wants His people to have.

8. The kind of “different” spirit that causes God to take notice and say, “Well done My good and faithful servant.”

Joshua 14:6-15

Context

1. Joshua 14 is a very interesting chapter in the Book of Joshua.

2. It’s time to divide up the Promised Land and distribute the inheritances to the twelve tribes of Israel.

3. When the sons of Judah came forward to receive their inheritance from Joshua, the younger men deferred to the elder statesman, Caleb.

4. Caleb stepped forward and in essence said to Joshua, his faithful, fellow spy, “You remember the word which the Lord spoke to Moses concerning you and me at Kadesh Barnea. He swore to us that the land on which our foot has trodden shall be our inheritance. Now then, give me the land which was promised.”

5. Caleb was an amazing person and there is much to learn from his life. At this point he was 85 years old and he said that he was just as strong as when he was 40 years old.

6. Caleb wanted the most difficult land in Israel. It was the most difficult because it was hill country, with rugged terrain.

7. But its greatest challenge was that the Anakim were there. The sons of Anak were large people and it was they who had put fear into the hearts of Israel at Kadesh Barnea 45 years earlier.

8. Caleb had been waiting 45 long years to square off with the sons of Anak and take the hill country that God had promised Israel.

9. Spiritually speaking, it’s important to see that the Promised Land is also a picture of a born-again Christian who is walking victoriously by faith.

10. It takes courage to take hold of God’s promises and Caleb is a tremendous example for us.

Transition – Like Caleb we must…

I. Follow God Wholeheartedly

• In verse eight, Caleb compared himself to the ten unfaithful spies who went up into the land of Canaan with him and Joshua but came back with a bad report.
• The unfaithful spies made the hearts of the Israelites melt with fear, so that’s why Caleb said, “But I followed the Lord my God fully.”
• From Caleb’s testimony the consequences of faith versus fear come into focus.
• Five times in this section Caleb highlighted that he had followed the Lord wholeheartedly, which is a key to understanding the strength of Caleb’s faith.

A. We must let faith strengthen our hearts

1. If you go back 45 years, you can see that faith and fear have a direct impact on what happens in the heart.

2. Caleb pointed out the problem precisely when he said that fear had melted the hearts of the people. (8)

Numbers 13:30-31, 33, Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we shall surely overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us. There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

3. The problem was that ten of the twelve spies only saw the troubles and challenges.

4. They saw that there were giants in the land, then they looked at themselves and what they lacked; they felt like grasshoppers in their own eyes.

5. In other words, the giants and the challenges were too great, but Israel was too small.

6. They made a direct comparison between the problem and themselves and that is where they made a devastating mistake.

APPL – The greatest fear that people have is the fear of the unknown. “What if. . . ?”

7. But Caleb saw God’s promises when others saw giants.

8. Like Caleb, we must take hold of God’s perspective and trust every promise God has given us from His Word.

Isaiah 40:21, 22, 28, 29, Do you not know? Have you not heard? It is He who sits above the vault of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. . . Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.”

APPL – Faith is the key to experiencing victory over fear and the kind of life that Jesus promised us.

John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (NIV)

• But if you let it, fear will literally rob you of all that God promises.
• What we need is to firmly take hold and not let go of God’s Word, believe what God has said, and stand firm by faith.
• Speaking of the generation that did not enter the Promised Land because of fear, notice what the writer of Hebrews said. . .

Hebrews 4:1-2, Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

Transition – From Caleb’s example we also see. . .

B. Spiritual strength is better than physical strength

1. Caleb was 85 years old when he approached Joshua and asked for the challenge of taking the hill country from the Anakim. He said that he was as strong at 85 as he was at 40.

ILLUS – What’s amazing about that is that many people don’t have much strength at 40. But Caleb had a harder life than most 40-year-olds today and it made him stronger.

ILLUS – The physical strength of Jack Lalanne.

2. While it’s amazing that Caleb had such physical strength, his spiritual strength was even greater.

APPL – I am convinced that there were men who were physically stronger in Israel, but were there any men or women who were spiritually stronger?

ILLUS – Our world values one’s physical appearance, but places little value on one’s spiritual condition.

• While it’s tempting to focus on Caleb’s physical strength, the most important part of the story was Caleb’s spiritual strength.
• In fact, the Apostle Paul gave us an important perspective about the value of being godly, of being spiritually fit.

1 Timothy 4:8, . . . for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Transition – The next important insight from Caleb’s life is. . .

II. Adversity Can Make Us Stronger

• The choice is ours.
• We can either get stronger or weaker.
• It all depends on whether faith or fear reigns in our hearts.
• Caleb was not afraid of adversity, he embraced it.
• He was convinced that God would do what He said He would do.
• In fact, you never read of Caleb making excuses in the midst of adversity. Why?

A. Excuses don’t work with God

1. There’s an interesting story that’s related to this in Joshua 17.
a. The sons of Joseph, Ephraim and the half tribe of Manasseh, wanted more land not just because they were numerous, but because the challenges of the land they had inherited were too great.
b. But Joshua rejected their request.

Joshua 17:17-18, And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, saying, “You are a numerous people and have great power; you shall not have one lot only, but the hill country shall be yours. For though it is a forest, you shall clear it, and to its farthest borders it shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, even though they have chariots of iron and though they are strong.”

2. Caleb could have asked for something easy. After all, at the age of 85, he could have pulled rank, sit back, and take life easy. . . right?

3. Not for Caleb. He refused to use his age as an excuse for not doing what God had called him to do.

ILLUS – Moses was 80 years old when God called him to lead Israel out of Egypt. Moses tried one excuse after another, but God would have none of it.

Exodus 4:10-15, Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth?. . . Is it not I, the LORD? Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” But he said, “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.” Then the anger of the LORD burned against Moses, and He said, “Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently. . . You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do.

APPL – Again, excuses don’t work with God.

4. What’s interesting is that there were others in the Bible who thought they were too young to serve God.

ILLUS – Jeremiah thought he was too young when God called him to be a prophet.

Jeremiah 1:6-7, Then I said, “Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak.”

APPL – The key is to continually bear fruit regardless of your age or limitations.

Psalm 92:14-15, They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

APPL – Now, what do you think Caleb did for those 40 years while Israel wandered through the wilderness?

• I’m convinced he didn’t sulk and grumble.
• Caleb spent his time encouraging the next generation to have faith and to be strong.
• That is a great example for us during these trying times.
• If Caleb were with us today, what would he do? What would he say? I believe he would tell everyone he talked with to get ready.
• Our world needs to know that judgment is coming, that these are the birth pangs that Jesus spoke of.

Matthew 24:6-8, You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

• This is the time of God’s grace.
• Now is the time for people to get right with God by placing their faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life.
o Our world needs what we have.
o Our world needs to know that God loves them and is for them.
o Our world needs the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.
• If the Church is quiet, if the Church allows herself to be silenced by fear or canceled by culture, then what witness will the Church have?
• We have the only message that brings hope for this life and the life to come.
• The Church needs more men and women with a “different” spirit, like that of Caleb.

B. Eat adversity for breakfast

1. When the ten spies who discouraged Israel said there were giants in the land, Caleb responded with an interesting insight. . .

Numbers 14:9, Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.

APPL – Caleb was saying, “They’re toast!”

2. What I mean is when we have faith, adversity makes us stronger. In fact, God uses adversity to give us greater faith and godly character.

ILLUS – When Jesus had finished teaching a crowd of 5,000, He turned to His disciples and said, “You give them something to eat!” And they responded, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”

3. In Joshua 14, Caleb understood this principle about adversity and asked for the challenge.
a. He embraced the challenge to take on the Anakim and their great fortified cities.
b. He embraced the challenge to take on Arba, the greatest of the great giants.

APPL – And think about this. . . if Caleb defeated the greatest of the great giants then what does that say about God and Caleb’s faith in his God? How great is our God, the giant slayer!

C. Don’t rest until the last giant is gone

1. Caleb defeated all the giants and their fortified city.

2. The city was renamed and the land was at peace.

ILLUS – Unfortunately, Israel did not follow Caleb’s example or keep God’s command to remove all the people from the land because the battle was too difficult. . . they faced setbacks and gave up.

APPL – Adversity doesn’t strengthen everyone.

• For some, it only knocks them down.
• Now, all of us get knocked down at some point.
• The question is, “What will you do when you get knocked down?”

ILLUS – When Olympic Champion, Eric Liddell, got knocked down in a race. . .

Psalm 27:1, The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?

APPL – Often when we think of giants we think of external obstacles. But there are other giants to confront, the “giants within.”

• God wants to confront those giants too so that we may enter the freedom that Jesus Christ purchased for us through His death and resurrection.
• But our freedom requires a choice. . .

Hebrews 12:1-2, Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith

Conclusion

APPL – Our country and our world is facing very large giants.

• Is your heart overwhelmed?
• Don’t give up, be like Caleb and have a “different” spirit.
• Trust the Lord wholeheartedly. No excuses.
• Take hold of God’s Word and don’t let go.
• We have a message, the only message that brings hope for this life and the life to come, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
• Eat adversity for breakfast.
• Don’t rest until the last giant is gone.
• Our God is on the throne and He is on the move.
• And never, ever forget, our God is a giant slayer.

1 John 5:4, For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.

Joshua 14:6-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6 Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which the Lord spoke to Moses the man of God concerning [a]you and me in Kadesh-barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. 8 Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people [b]melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God fully. 9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God fully.’ 10 Now behold, the Lord has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. 11 I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. 12 Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will [c]drive them out as the Lord has spoken.”
13 So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. 14 Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until this day, because he followed the Lord God of Israel fully. 15 Now the name of Hebron was formerly [d]Kiriath-arba; for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. Then the land had rest from war.

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