Now these are the areas the Israelites received as an inheritance in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the tribal clans of Israel allotted to them.2 Their inheritances were assigned by lot to the nine and a half tribes, as the Lord had commanded through Moses. 3 Moses had granted the two and a half tribes their inheritance east of the Jordan but had not granted the Levites an inheritance among the rest, 4 for Joseph’s descendants had become two tribes—Manasseh and Ephraim. The Levites received no share of the land but only towns to live in, with pasture lands for their flocks and herds. 5 So the Israelites divided the land, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Allotment for Caleb
6 Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’
10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 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.”
13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.)
Then the land had rest from war.
After the Israelites had left Egypt, and crossed the Red Sea, they came to the edge of the land that was promised as an inheritance to the descendants of Abraham. In Numbers 13 & 14 we read the account of what happened when Moses sent out spies into that land to bring a report on the people and the prosperity there. There were 12 men that set out, one from each tribe of Israel, one of them was Caleb, and one was Joshua. Upon their return the report was favorable on the land, but the 10 other spies spread fear among the Israelites that the people were huge and that they would surely be destroyed if they tried to take the land. Caleb stood up with Joshua and said, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” – Numbers 14:7-9
Because of the faith Caleb placed in God that day he was one of only two of their generation to actually make it into the promised land. At that time the Lord said, “Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and i will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.” – Deuteronomy 1:35-36. And now, 45 years later, Caleb is inheriting the land. Amazingly, he is still faithfully seeking the Lord, knowing that He will drive out the people of that land because the Lord promised it.
- Is there a promise or principle to remember?
The Lord always delivers on His promises. We may have to wait, and continue in prayer for years, or even decades before we are assured of those promises, but we must persist in our obedience and allegiance to God.
- Is there an example to follow or a command to obey?
Caleb is a shining example of a man who wholeheartedly followed God. He was with the other spies as they saw the great hordes of people in the land, knowing that they would have to fight them to take it. He trusted in God’s promises that some day that land would belong to Israel, and he would not back down from that belief. How rewarding it must have been for him in all his patience to see the unfolding of the promises, and then finally get to partake in his own reward for his unfailing belief.
What an example he is to all of us as believers! We, too, must face the people of our land who do not belong to God. We, too, must stand up and fight for our Lord, knowing that in those struggles we will see people won for Christ, as He promises. And some day we, too, will stand in honor before God, accepting our reward of eternal life for our unfailing belief in His Word, and His Son.
- Are there attitudes that needed changing, or an error to avoid?
In all of those years Caleb held tight to the promise of his future in the promise land. As Christians, we have an even bigger promise of a future in Heaven, with our Savior. What if we lived our lives in constant reality of that fact? Let’s say you wake up tomorrow morning and all of your things have been stolen from your car… but then you remember that this life is temporary.. that none of this really matters.. because you have already been given something that nothing could ever replace… an eternity with God. Doesn’t everything else just pale in comparison when we truly put our hearts and minds on what awaits us?
Yesterday I heard a pastor talking about how incomprehensible Heaven actually is. He said, “Imagine the best thing you can think of, and how it makes you feel… now multiply that by bazillions. We can’t even begin to imagine the wonders and joy that awaits us.”
- Is there a sin being revealed?
We can either be like Caleb, or we can be like the rest of the Israelites. What are we placing higher than God’s promises? The Israelites knew that God had told them He would give them the land, and yet they were scared to go in and take it. Caleb knew the promise, and he stood firm in his conviction that God can not lie. If God says it, it will be. Why do we doubt? To doubt God is to sin.
12 “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.” – Hebrews 3
- Does this make you want to pray for someone or yourself?
Lord, forgive my unbelief in the promises you have given me. Forgive us as a nation, Lord, for turning away from our beliefs that you are the only true God. Lord turn back the hearts of this nation to you, and give us a unified spirit of believing that your Word is all we need to accomplish great things for you. We know that your Word is truth, and I pray that we might grasp what you have written, and apply it to our lives.