Joshua 14:6-13 NLT A delegation from the tribe of Judah, led by Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, came to Joshua at Gilgal. Caleb said to Joshua, “Remember what the LORD said to Moses, the man of God, about you and me when we were at Kadesh-barnea. I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of the LORD, sent me from Kadesh-barnea to explore the land of Canaan. I returned and gave from my heart a good report, but my brothers who went with me frightened the people and discouraged them from entering the Promised Land. For my part, I followed the LORD my God completely. So that day Moses promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your special possession and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God. Now, as you can see, the LORD has kept me alive and well as He promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So I’m asking you to give me the hill country that the LORD promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the Anakites living there in great, walled cities. But if the LORD is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the LORD said.” So Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave Hebron to him as an interitance. Hebron still belongs to the descendants of Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite because he wholeheartedly followed the LORD, the God of Israel.
Caleb was one of the twelve spies that Moses sent in to Canaan to spy out the Promised Land. He and Joshua came back with a good report that they could take the land, but the other 10 spies came back with an evil report that instilled fear in the people by telling them of the giants in the land and how they were so small in their sight. The people rebelled at the direction of the Lord because of the evil report and as a consequence had to spend 40 years wandering around in the wilderness until all the generation that didn’t believe that God would go before them and enable them to conquer the land had died off.
Now they are ready, once again, to go in and take the Promised Land that God had given them. Caleb hasn’t forgotten the promise that was made to him of his inheritance in the Promised Land. All these years, 45 in total, he has been waiting to receive his inheritance. He has been patiently occupying until this day when he would be able to go in and conquer the giants in his land. He is now 85 years old.
How many of us would stand strong waiting for our inheritance of God’s promises for 45 years? Many times we get tired of standing in faith for just a few months waiting until God brings into manifestation the things that He has promised us. And here was Caleb, patiently continuing to stay strong so he could one day inherit God’s blessing of his inheritance. We don’t hear of him griping and complaining while he’s waiting, he simply continued strengthening himself so he would be ready when that day came.
It would have been easy for Caleb to give up when the Israelites were told they would wander in the wilderness for 40 years. It would have been easy for him to blame his brothers and complain about their unbelief and how it was stopping him from receiving his inheritance but you don’t hear of him doing that. He simply stood strong, knowing that what God had promised He would provide.
Are you waiting for a promise from God to be manifested in your life? Will you be ready to walk into your Promised Land when that time comes? Are you blaming someone else for you not being able to receive what God has promised? These are all questions that we need to ask ourselves when it seems that God is not doing anything; when our lives seem to be going nowhere and we are continuing to walk around that same mountain over and over again. Caleb knew that if he continued to follow the Lord his God wholeheartedly that eventually that which He had promised would happen.
Hebrews 10:35, 36 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward, For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
Endurance – Greek hupomone – means constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, steadfastness, holding out, patient endurance. It describes the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat.
When we look at Caleb’s life we see the endurance that he exhibited during those 45 years while he was waiting to receive his inheritance. It was true that he was affected by the consequences of those around him who didn’t believe that God would enable them to take their Promised Land. He spent 45 years in the wilderness with them because of their unbelief. Sometimes we suffer through things that are of no fault of our own. It is true that we are affected by those around us. Caleb could have had a really bad attitude by the time he had wandered around in that wilderness for 40 years. He could have allowed bitterness to grow in his heart because he suffered at the hands of someone else. But he didn’t. He continued to stay strong; he continued to follow the Lord his God wholeheartedly.
This morning you may be growing weary of waiting on God to change something in your life. I want to encourage you to be like Caleb. Don’t give in to feelings of discouragement. Don’t succumb to a defeatist attitude that says, “why continue to stand in faith, it’s just simply not going to happen”. Don’t give up just before your breakthrough comes! God is always working on your behalf, even when you can’t see it.
Hebrews 6:12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Look at those who have gone before you and have stood in faith patiently waiting to receive their promises. Watch them and imitate them. We have all kinds of examples in God’s word of ones who have waited years and years and finally after standing strong in faith received what God had promised them. Don’t give up; the best is yet to come!
Father, I thank You for the promises that You have given each one of us. You have prepared a good plan for our lives. You have given us precious promises that we can count on You fulfilling when we stand strong in faith believing and not doubting. Father, I pray for those this morning who may be growing weary in waiting for those promises to come into manifestation. I pray that You will give them a glimpse of the good things ahead of them so they will be renewed in their faith and strengthened to continue to stand strong while they wait. Father, I pray that they will not grow weary, but will reap the promises in due season as Your word says. Grant them strength for their weariness and a renewed vision to give them hope. Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness to bring what You have promised into our lives. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.