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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
iv] the battle with Amelek when the sun did not go down
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
2) he awarded springs of water to his daughter because she
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:
Bible Bulletin Board
Columbus, New Jersey, USA, 08022
Websites: www.biblebb.com and www.gospelgems.com
Online since 1986