Winners and Losers: Part 1  - CALEB

Caleb: A Man Who Lived Victoriously

Kathy's Sunday School Lessons Written for Young Boys and Girls by Kathryn Capoccia

Copyright Kathryn Capoccia 2000. This file may be freely copied, printed out, and distributed as long
as copyright and source statements remain intact, and that it is not sold.

Introduction

   In the last few months we have been looking at "Spiritual Warfare"-
   first we looked at "Spiritual Bootcamp" where we saw that not every
   person is a Christian soldier for God, but only those who have "joined
   up" through faith in the work of atonement made by Christ, repentance
   from sin, and submission to the person of Jesus Christ. We saw that
   changes begin to take place in a new believer's life after his
   salvation, after "joining up" in God's army; he is a "new creature" in
   Christ (2CO 5:18) and he begins to identify with Christians as being his
   people and Jesus as his God; he begins to get a military perspective
   about life because he knows that he's made a commitment to obey God in
   everything and that he's engaged in a "life and death" spiritual battle
   with Satan and the demons that won't end until he gets to Heaven; he
   adopts "concrete objectives" for his life, evangelism and conformity to
   Christ; and he begins to walk obediently to God under submission to
   authority by being publicly baptized, by fellowshipping with and taking
   communion with other Christians, by giving of himself to the Church in
   the way of his resources and spiritual gifts. We then saw that to face
   day-to-day living as a Christian, to be ready to win the spiritual
   battles he encounters, he must have on his spiritual armor as described
   in Ephesians chapter 6, verses 11-18:

   EPH 6:11-18  "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your
   stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh
   and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the
   powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in
   the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that
   when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and
   after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt
   of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of
   righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness
   that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up
   the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming
   arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of
   the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all
   occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be
   alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

   Now we are going to be looking at some individuals from the Bible who
   were winners and some who were losers in their spiritual battles. Some
   of these people will defeat Satan at every turn; some will stumble after
   starting well and end up defeated and useless; others will start well,
   stumble, and recover. Today we will be looking at the life of one of the
   Old Testament's shining men of faith, Caleb (NUM 13,14, 34:19; JOS
   14:7-14, 15:15-19; JUD 1:12-20). Turn with me in your Bibles to the book
   of Numbers, chapter 13, and let's see what we can learn from him that
   will be helpful in our own "spiritual warfare".

   A. Who was he?

      1. What was his name? Caleb, which means "dog" or slave.

      2. Who were his people?

         a) his father was Jephunneh the Kenizzite, who was, according to
            the genealogies of 1CH 2 and 4, a grandson of Judah through
            Hezron (NUM 13:6; 1CH 2:9,18, 4:15).

         b) his tribe was Judah- he was it's leader (NUM 13:6).

      3. When did he live? at the time of the Exodus from Egypt, approx.
         1400 B.C.

      4. How old was he? 85 years old when he entered Canaan (JOS 14:7,10).

         JOS 14:7  "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..."

         JOS 14:10  "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 desert. So here I am today,
         eighty-five years old!"

   B. What did he do?

      1. He Was Faithful to God

         a) as one of the twelve spies (NUM 13)

            NUM 13:1-33  "The LORD said to Moses, 'Send some men to explore
            the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From
            each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.' So at the LORD'S
            command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of
            them were leaders of the Israelites. NUM 13:6  ...from the
            tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh... So they went up and
            explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob,
            toward Lebo Hamath. They went up through the Negev and came to
            Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of
            Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in
            Egypt.) When they reached the Valley of Eshcol, they cut off a
            branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried
            it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and
            figs. That place was called the Valley of Eshcol because of the
            cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. At the end of
            forty days they returned from exploring the land. They came
            back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at
            Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and
            to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land.
            They gave Moses this account: 'We went into the land to which
            you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its
            fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the
            cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of
            Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites,
            Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the
            Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.' Then Caleb
            silenced the people before Moses and said, 'We should go up and
            take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.' But
            the men who had gone up with him said, 'We can't attack those
            people; they are stronger than we are.' And they spread among
            the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored."

            NUM 14:5-11 "Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the
            whole Israelite assembly gathered there. Joshua son of Nun and
            Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored
            the land, tore their clothes  and said to the entire Israelite
            assembly, '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.'"

            NUM 14:21-24  "Nevertheless, as surely as I [God] live and as
            surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, not one
            of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I
            performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and
            tested me ten times-- not one of them will ever see the land I
            promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated
            me with contempt will ever see it. But because my servant Caleb
            has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will
            bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will
            inherit it."

            1) Why was he faithful?

               a] he did not hold God in contempt ("to scorn, provoke")
                  (NUM 14:23), i.e. he believed in God (NUM 14:11).

               b] he had a different spirit ("breath, wind, spirit", the
                  same word used in GEN 1 of the Holy Spirit and in GEN 7
                  "the breath of life" in Adam) of faith (NUM 14:24), not
                  one that did not see the significance of miracles and had
                  a hard heart.

               c] he followed ("the following part") wholeheartedly (lit.
                  "to be full") (NUM 14:24), i.e. he was completely engaged
                  in remaining behind God's lead.

            2) Where did his faith come from?

               a] the sight of God's glory (NUM 14:21)

                  WHAT IS GOD'S GLORY?

                  It is the sign of God's presence; the word glory,
                  "kabod", means "abundance"- it is usually described as
                  the fire or brilliant light that surrounds any theophany
                  or heavenly being. The sight of glory usually terrifies
                  men (EXO 20:18,19; JUD 13:6; ISA 6:5; EZE 1:28; DAN
                  10:7-9, 16-19; MAT 28:2-8; LUK 1:12, 29,30, 2:9; REV
                  1:17).

                  WHEN DID HE SEE GOD'S GLORY?

                  i] at Mt. Sinai- Exodus 24:1-18

                     Moses was commanded to take 73 men with him to the
                     base of Mt. Sinai, of which 70 were leaders of Israel;
                     Caleb must surely have been in this group that saw
                     God:

                     EXO 24:10,11  "And [the leaders] saw the God of
                     Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement
                     made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. But God did
                     not raise his hand against these leaders of the
                     Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank."

                     Moses was commanded to come up the slopes of the Mt.
                     while the rest waited below and this is what they saw:

                     EXO 24:16,17  "...and the glory of the LORD settled on
                     Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the
                     mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to
                     Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the
                     glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top
                     of the mountain."

                 ii] reflected in Moses' face

                     EXO 34:34,35  "But whenever he [Moses] entered the
                     LORD'S presence to speak with him, he removed the veil
                     until he came out. And when he came out and told the
                     Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that
                     his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil
                     back over his face until he went in to speak with the
                     LORD."

                     2CO 3:7  "Now if the ministry that brought death,
                     which was engraved in letters on stone, came with
                     glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily
                     at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading
                     though it was..."

                iii] at the dedication of the Tabernacle- Exodus 40:33,35

                     When the children of Israel had finished constructing
                     the Tabernacle, the "Tent of Meeting", God filled it
                     with His glory:

                     EXO 40:34  "Then the cloud covered the Tent of
                     Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the
                     tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting
                     because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory
                     of the LORD filled the tabernacle."

                 iv] at the inauguration of the priestly sacrificial
                     system- Leviticus 9:23

                     LEV 9:23,24  "Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent
                     of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the
                     people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the
                     people. Fire came out from the presence of the LORD
                     and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions
                     on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they
                     shouted for joy and fell facedown."

                  v] at the time of the return of the twelve spies- Numbers
                     14:10

                     NUM 14:10  "But the whole assembly talked about
                     stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at
                     the Tent of Meeting to all the Israelites."

               b] miraculous signs witnessed in Egypt

                  i] the ten plagues (EXO 7-12)

                     1st plague: blood; 2nd plague: frogs; 3rd plague:
                     gnats (or lice); 4th plague: flies; 5th plague:
                     pestilence on livestock; 6th plague: boils on man and
                     animal; 7th plague: hail; 8th plague: locusts; 9th
                     plague: darkness; 10th plague: death of 1st born son.

                 ii] plundering the Egyptians (EXO 12:35,36).

                     EXO 12:35,36  "The Israelites did as Moses instructed
                     and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and
                     gold and for clothing. The LORD had made the Egyptians
                     favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave
                     them what they asked for; so they plundered the
                     Egyptians."

                iii] the pillar of cloud and fire (EXO 13:18, 21,22).

                     EXO 13:21,22  "By day the LORD went ahead of them in a
                     pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by
                     night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that
                     they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar
                     of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left
                     its place in front of the people."

               c] the parting of the Red Sea (EXO 14:19-31).

               d] the miraculous signs in the desert

                  i] the waters of Mara cured with a tree (15:23-25).

                 ii] manna given (EXO 16).

                iii] the miracle of the water from rock in Horeb (EXO
                     17:6).

                 iv] the battle with Amelek when the sun did not go down
                     (EXO 17:8-16).

                  v] the giving of the Law (EXO 19:-32).

                 vi] the judgment of Nadab and Abihu (LEV 10:1,2), Taberah
                     (LEV 11:1,2), Aaron and Miriam's rebellion (EXO 12),
                     the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram which led to
                     the earth swallowing them (NUM 16:1-34), fiery
                     serpents whose fatal bites could be healed by looking
                     at a bronze snake on a pole (NUM 21:6,7).

            3) What was the result of his faith?

               a] he would not die in the wilderness- everyone else who was
                  20 years old or more (except Joshua) would die before
                  they reached Canaan.

               b] he would enter the land of Canaan to possess it- he
                  received the inheritance promised to Abraham and his
                  heirs (GEN 15:18), one of the first Hebrews to actually
                  own the land he lived on.

               c] he would have descendants who would inherit his land- his
                  name would not be cut off from the genealogies and his
                  children would also live in the land and prosper.

            4) Can you see the armor of God on him?

               Did he have on the belt of truthfulness, i.e. commitment and
               sincerity? YES. Did he have on the breastplate of right
               living? YES. Did he have on the shoes of peace with God and,
               therefore, believe that God would fight for him? YES. Did he
               carry the shield of faith which quenched any doubts or
               fears? YES. Did he have on the helmet of salvation and rest
               in the security of knowing he was safe with God? YES. Did he
               fight with the sword of the Spirit to defend himself and
               God's name? YES.

         b) As a commissioner of the land (NUM 34:17)

            NUM 34:17-19  "These are the names of the men who are to assign
            the land for you as an inheritance: Eleazar the priest and
            Joshua son of Nun. And appoint one leader from each tribe to
            help assign the land. These are their names: Caleb son of
            Jephunneh, from the tribe of Judah..."

            His job was to help distribute the land to his tribe, Judah.
            This was done by lot (JOS 14:2, 18:6,10; 1CH 6:54). The casting
            of important lots may have been done by the Urim and Thummim
            which were objects, possibly two small round stones, placed in
            the ephod of the high priest by which God's will could be
            discerned- one rock may have signified a "yes" and one a "no".
            But lots were also cast without the Urim and Thummim, by using
            marked stones. The O.T. saints trusted that God was
            supernaturally overseeing the proceedings and that He
            controlled the outcome:

            PRO 16:33  "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every
            decision is from the LORD."

         c) As a settler in Canaan (JOS 14:6-15)

            JOS 14:6  "Now the men 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. 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, but my
            brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt
            with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.
            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.' '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 desert. So here I am
            today, eighty-five years old! 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. 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 Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the
            LORD, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. (Hebron used to be
            called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among
            the Anakites.)"

      2. He Trusted God

         a) he claimed God's promise to receive land (JOS 14:6,9)

            1) he believed that God was faithful to His promises through
               Moses (JOS 14:6,9)

            2) he believed it was his reward for faithfulness (JOS 14:9)

         b) he trusted in God's sovereignty (JOS 14:10)

            "as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five
            years..."

         c) he expected to battle for the land successfully

            1) he still had the physical strength and vigor of a young man
               though he was 85 years old (JOS 14;11).

               JOS 14:11  "I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent
               me out [when he was 40]; I'm just as vigorous to go out to
               battle now as I was then."

               *CONTRAST THIS WITH THE CONDITION OF JOSHUA WHO WAS CALLED
               "OLD AND ADVANCED IN YEARS" (JOS 13:1) AT 90 OR 100 YEARS
               OLD.

            2) he believed God would fight for him (JOS 14:12)

               JOS 14:12  "...but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them
               out just as he said."

               JOS 23:9-11  "The LORD has driven out before you great and
               powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to
               withstand you. One of you routs a thousand, because the LORD
               your God fights for you, just as he promised. So be very
               careful to love the LORD your God."

      3. He Encouraged the Faith of Others

         a) He used his life to display God's power

            1) he took the toughest land to settle (JOS 14:12-15)

               a] it was hilly land (and hard to drive out the inhabitants)
                  (JOS 14:12).

               b] there were great fortified cities (JOS 14:12)

                  NUM 13:28  "the cities are fortified and very large."

                  *Hebron was the city named in that area (JOS 14:13,14).
                  Hebron is located about 20 m. west of the Dead Sea,
                  situated about 2800 feet above sea level between two
                  ridges. A large number of springs and wells are in the
                  area of Hebron and the soil is rich and fertile. According
                  to excavations it was occupied as early as 3000 B.C. with
                  an exterior wall thirty foot wide and at least 330 feet
                  long. It was at Hebron that the spies found the large
                  cluster of grapes (NUM 13:22-24). Earlier Abraham had
                  settled near Hebron (GEN 13:18) and purchased the cave of
                  Machpelah, which was opposite Mamre (GEN 23:17), and was
                  near Hebron. After the settlement of the land Hebron
                  became a "City of Refuge". (This information came from
                  "The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible",
                  Zondervan publishers, (C) 1978, vol. 3, pgs. 107-110.)

               c] the inhabitants were Anakim (giants) (JOS 14:12).

                  NUM 13:33  "We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of
                  Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers
                  in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them."

                  HOW BIG WERE THE DESCENDANTS OF ANAK? WERE THEY REALLY
                  GIANTS? According to Scripture they were very tall (9 1/2
                  feet at least) people but not the giants of fairy tales.

                  DEU 9:2 says about them, "The people are strong and
                  tall--Anakites! You know about them and have heard it
                  said: 'Who can stand up against the Anakites?'"

                  SCRIPTURE LISTS SEVERAL CANAANITE "GIANTS" OF VARIOUS
                  SIZES:

                  Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, was a giant...
                  1SA 17:4  "A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath,
                  came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet
                  tall."

                  Og, the Canaanite king was apparently a giant:
                  DEU 3:11  "Only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant
                  of the Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more
                  than thirteen feet long and six feet wide. It is still in
                  Rabbah of the Ammonites."

                  2SA 21:19; 1CH 20:5  "In another battle with the
                  Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the
                  Bethlehemite killed [1CH says Lahmi, the brother of]
                  Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a
                  weaver's rod [about 17 lbs.]."

                  2SA 21:20  "In still another battle, which took place at
                  Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand
                  and six toes on each foot--twenty-four in all. He also was
                  descended from Rapha."

            2) he was successful

               Caleb drove the Anak from Hebron; they eventually settled in
               Gaza, Gath and Ashdod (JOS 11:22).

               JOS 15:14  "From Hebron Caleb drove out the three
               Anakites--Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai--descendants of Anak."
         b) He rewarded bravery

            1) he offered his daughter's hand to the victor of a battle

               JOS 15:16,17  "And Caleb said, 'I will give my daughter Acsah
               in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath
               Sepher.' Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's brother, took it; so
               Caleb gave his daughter Acsah to him in marriage."

               *Othniel later became one of the Judges of Israel (JUD
               3:9-11).

            2) he awarded springs of water to his daughter because she
               asked

               JOS 15:18,19  "One day when she came to Othniel, she urged
               him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her
               donkey, Caleb asked her, 'What can I do for you?' She
               replied, 'Do me a special favor. Since you have given me
               land in the Negev, give me also springs of water.' So Caleb
               gave her the upper and lower springs."

    C. What can we learn from him?

      1. We can learn to fear God and trust Him more if we look on His
         glory found in Scripture and in His Son, Jesus Christ.

      2. We can be encouraged by the miracles recorded in the Bible for our
         benefit because the God who worked those miracles has not changed;
         not in power, truth, love or commitment.

      3. We can be victorious in our spiritual battles if we are faithful
         to God through trust and obedience.

      4. Our faith can be an encouragement to others.

         "I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly" JOS 14:8b

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Kathy Capoccia's Sunday School Lessons for Young Adults" by:

Tony Capoccia
Bible Bulletin Board
Box 119
Columbus, New Jersey, USA, 08022
Websites: www.biblebb.com and www.gospelgems.com
Email: tony@biblebb.com
Online since 1986