FAITH TO ENTER GOD’S PROMISES
Fully Devoted to God
Jerry A Collins
Do you have what it takes to go all the way for God?
Are you fully committed to drive sin out of your life?
Will you determine to finish the work God gives you?
Dr. Paul Brand, died at 89 in 2003, raised in India in missionary family, foremost Dr on leprosy in the world, writes of his mother in book ‘in his image’ when at 75 serving India for a lifetime already, still walking miles every day, visiting villages, teaching of Christ, she fell and broke her hip. 2 days lying in pain on side of road, some workers found her, makeshift cot for her, placed in jeep 150 mile trip deep rutted roads damaged her bones so severely never completely healed. Dr. Brand visited his mother in mud covered hut much later with 2 bamboo crutches made herself, dragging feet behind her since losing all feeling in them. He suggested she retire. ‘What value is that? If preserve my body few more years and it not be used for God what value is that? So she kept working, riding her donkey to villages until 93 yrs. Since she kept falling off of donkey, she would be propped up against walls and people visiting her would hear gospel from this dear old lady until she died at 95. Joshua 14 records the same kind of dogged devotion to fully follow the Lord in life of Caleb. In every episode of his life, we see a man fully devoted to God. We see that in his decision-making. We hear that in his testimony. We observe that by his long faithfulness to the Lord. We are going to learn what it means to be fully devoted to God as we study this passage.
1. FULLY FOLLOWING GOD IS THE FRUIT OF CONVICTION 14
That is, the unshakeable belief in fully following God without the need for proof or evidence that it is necessary for me to do so! Without that, you will never fully follow God in your life. Caleb’s example reveals this to be true. It will not happen unless it becomes a conviction.
Caleb had faith in the power of God 1-9
1-5 with record of Moses’ allotment of land to 2 ½ tribes in chp 13, account turns to distribution of remaining 9 ½ tribes. Twice mentioned that Levi will receive no inheritance as in chp 13 Lord had instructed that tribes to receive territory proportionate to its population with casting of lots determining location and boundaries. Of course, this not a blind chance thing, since Prov says every decision by lots is from the Lord. So the people would know that the Lord was proportioning the land. The ensuing inequities of land allotments we know eventually caused some tensions and jealousies amongst the tribes. They should have accepted it as God’s plan and purpose instead. Not as something arbitrary or unfair. God is never unfair in any decision He renders. Our challenge in our walk with God is to believe that He always has my best interest at heart in whatever happens in my life. If not, I will take matters into my own hands and serve what I believe to be my own best interests and get into a lot of trouble on both sides of the grave!
6-9 Just before lots cast, Caleb steps forward in vs 6 to remind Joshua of a promise 45 yrs earlier made to
him. Caleb’s family
were not originally part of
Caleb had faith in the promises of God 10-11
He reminisced about God’s faithfulness to him over many years. (1)
Affirmed God kept him alive past 45 yrs as He had promised. (2) That he would
someday inherit territory he had so bravely explored near city of
Caleb had faith in the presence of God 12-15
His speech now concludes with astounding request. At 85 mite think time for cabin near quiet lake with long porch, garden and swing. But he requested the same piece of real estate that had struck fear into hearts of 10 spies. Caleb was ready for one more tough battle. A foreboding task, not because of pride in own ability but believing God would be with him, he had faith in the presence of God! And he did drive the giants out -19. So he received this blessing from Joshua and received the land title. This was not just a giant or two but a city of giants or region of giants vs 15 (Arba named as part of the city) showing what the conviction of faith in God’s power, promises and presence can mean with respect to the land yet to be possessed by the tribes! Altho we will never follow God perfectly, we can choose to follow him fully! Making the basic decision in our lives to fully follow Christ. This will not happen in a vacuum but agreeing with God’s Word we are convinced of God’s power, looking to His greatness not our problems, of his promises, looking to His Word not our circumstances, of His presence, looking to His ability not depending upon my own!
2. DON’T COMPROMISE BUT CONQUER WHAT GOD REQUIRES OF YOU 15-16
Two events unfold in this chapter: 13-19 Caleb drives out the giants and possesses his inheritance. He offers a challenge to give his daughter in marriage to one who conquers and captures a city. Othniel, Caleb’s nephew does it. Then his daughter comes later to ask for springs to water their land. (1) Caleb took possession of the land and drove out enemies. He was obedient. (2) He motivated others to do the same—to be obedient. (3) Involved in finding suitable husband for daughter. (4) He helped them get started in their marriage. (5) Available and approachable for daughter to come with request to him. Once again it is family that is seen as the basic unit of society like heads of households’ in chp 14.
20ff is allotment of land to tribe of
Chp 16 Here is the inheritance of tribe of Ephraim. They also were not able to drive our the Canaanites from their territory vs 10. Motivated by materialistic and financial designs, they put the Canaanites under tribute to gain additional wealth. This roved to be a fatal mistake for this arrangement became reversed during judges when Canaanites rebelled and enslaved Israelites. It is all too easy for us to tolerate and excuse some pet sin only to wake up with grim realization that it has taken possession of us and brings defeat. Must never compromise but deal decisively, harshly, completely. (1) Interesting that in every compromise, 2 ½ tribes on east side, Judah’s inability and Ephraim’s compromise brought defeat—while contrasted with individual who conquered with full conviction Lord wins. God looks for a person. (2) Don’t justify friendship with world by saying ‘I do not serve it, it serves me’. You cannot make sin serve you. It will always destroy you. Instead devote yourself fully to God!