Unwavering Faith

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1)       8-17-08…AM…SBC     2)

“Unwavering Faith”

Joshua 14

Introduction:[1]              (Recap of what has been learned)

1-      The book’s central message is Israel’s inheritance of the Promised Land in fulfillment of God’s promises, chapters 6-12 show Joshua and the Israelites taking possession of that land.

·         They form a complement to chaps. 13–21, which show Joshua apportioning the land to all of the tribes.

2-      Israel could not take the land without God’s presence among them and going before them.

·         He repeatedly reminded Joshua and the people that he was with them and that they should not fear, for he would fight for them

·         In the major encounters at Jericho, Ai, Gibeon, and the waters of Merom (ch13), through grammar and structure the text calls attention to the fact that God fought for Israel, that he gave the enemies into Israel’s hands

3-      Not once did the Israelites win a victory due to their superior military force


4-      Each encounter involved the Israelites’ participation as combatants, but the text makes it very clear that they were secondary characters in these dramas: God—and God alone—was the victor in these battles

5-      Through all of the battles, Israel was to keep a larger perspective: the land belonged to the Lord, and out of his goodness to them, and he was in process of giving it to his people.[2]

Transition:  The distribution of the Promised Land is the account at hand, and what we learn to take home today is…


1-      v1–5 form the introduction to the account of the division of the land among the nine tribes and a half, which reaches to Josh. 19, and is brought to a close by the concluding formula in Josh. 19:51.[3]


A- The main characters in the land distribution are Eleazer, Joshua and the leader of each of the 9 ½ tribes

2-      The Lord gave instructions on how the land was to be dispersed and the leadership was to see that those instructions were obeyed

A-    The Lord ultimately directed the distribution by means of the lot[4]

1.      The casting of lots to determine Israel’s inheritance had been commanded by God (Num 26:52–56; 33:54); thus, far from being a matter of chance, God himself was in control of the lot (cf. 18:6, 8, 10; Prov 16:33).[5]

Summary:        Obedience to God’s way of doing things      v5


Ø      God had given Moses directions how this distribution should be made, and those directions are here promptly observed.[6]

1-      Are we going to obey God’s Word?  (not just the Golden Rule, 10 commandments, love one another)

2-      Is the Bible and the Bible alone going to function as the only rule book you live by?

a-      before you robotically answer yes consider this about obedience

1.    Are you willing to draw a line in the sand when it comes to the terms of salvation? (Solus Christus)

2.    Are you willing to defend the faith even if it means death (“take up your cross”)?                                      (Sincerity or fire insurance)

3.    Are you willing to share the gospel with those that are on their way to hell? (be proactive)

4.    Are you willing to resolve conflicts in a biblical manner? (Matthew 18 process)

5.    Are you willing to uphold the institution of marriage?

6.    Are you willing to serve your wife / submit to your husband?

7.    Are you willing to resist the devils influence on you? (shut the TV off, get rid of the internet, discard of the movies)

8.    Are you willing to follow by obedience in believer’s baptism?

9.    Are you willing to become part of this local body of believers through membership?

10.  Are you willing to do whatever necessary to become a dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ?


Transition:  Let’s spend the remainder of the time with someone who was willing to make God’s Word the only rule book by which he would function.


14:6-15      Read

Ø      Before the narrative details Judah’s inheritance (Ch 15), Caleb, a prominent figure in an earlier story, is given his inheritance.[7]

1-      Caleb was from the tribe of Judah (Num 13:6), and he had been one of the twelve spies sent into Canaan from the wilderness.[8]

A-    V7-9 - Caleb and Joshua alone had given a favorable report (Num 14:6–9), resulting in their being the only ones from their generation allowed to enter Canaan (14:30).[9]        

1-      the word here for convictions is the Hebrew word for heart             (ble)

a-      reference here can be to his emotions, thoughts and will as well as the giving of an honest report

2-    Caleb’s report was not based on the negative circumstances of the Promised Land but according to what God already said He was going to do

3-    He knew in his heart that if God said they would conqueror the land then they would

4-      He was convicted of who God was and what God could do and that changed his outlook on the circumstances around him

a-      it was an honest and faithful report

b-      it was a report based on his heart attitude towards God

c-      it was based on what he had already seen God do for the Israelites coming up out of Egypt

Ø      when the circumstances deterred the other spies, Caleb’s heart stayed establish on God

Ø      there is no question where Caleb’s commitment was, he had been living out in front of the people for over 50 years

2- Caleb’s Inheritance             v10-15


A-    Caleb is now 80-85 years old after the 40 years of wandering when he begins his conquest of his allotment of the Promised Land

1-      At 80 years old Caleb’s confession and convictions were still in the God he began serving so many years before

a.       we don’t find him complaining

b.      we don’t find him losing faith

B- Caleb was as strong at 80 years old as he was when he was 40    v11

1-      I believe this miracle would have strengthened his faith even more – and it did

a-      he was saying to the giants, “Bring it on!”

C-Caleb’s encounter with God’s Power drove him to wholehearted commitment

Numbers 14:24 – “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-      “follows me wholeheartedly”

2-      “wholeheartedly” carries the idea of being full or complete – he completely followed God      (hlemA)

3-      Piel Perfect:  intensifying stem     (from “to kill” to “to slaughter”)

4-      Here it is used to intensify Caleb’s faithful obedience to God

a-      he didn’t just have obedience to God but he was completely filled with obedience to God

b-      Illustration – pitcher of water (3/4 full or completely full to the brim)

Application:    What hinders us from having faith like Caleb and Joshua?

Hindrances to faithful living

  1. Laziness – we don’t want to do what it takes to be godly – “train yourself to be godly” – Olympians

·         yet we will work hard at things that are pleasurable to us or things that will bring us a reward

  1. Circumstances – we would rather live by sight than by faith – Hebrews 11:6

·         the book of Joshua is a major example of living by faith – It can be done!


  1. People – when we get our eyes focused off of God and on to others – Fear of man vs Fear of God

·         no one else is doing it, everyone else says it is no big deal

  1. Excuses – I don’t have time, I’m too busy; I don’t know enough; it’s not that big of a deal; I’m too old

·         Caleb took on the giant Anakites in order to possess his inheritance

Ø      From cover to cover God calls us to faithful living, perseverance of difficult circumstances and total dependence up Him

So it comes down to two questions this morning…


1-      How obedient are you to God’s instructions?                        (Salvation Presentation – airplane and the parachut)

o       When it comes to fighting sin and resisting the devil, at the end of your life will you be able to say that you did everything you could?

o       Will you be like the Olympians that say, “I left it all in the pool, mat, gymn, track”

2-      How determined are you to faithful living?

·         Are you determined enough to ask for help?

·         Determined enough to get up early to have time with God?

·         Determined enough to go to bed early enough so you can get up to have time with God?

·         Determined to do whatever it takes to have a close relationship with God?

Do you have unwavering faith?


[1] David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), p 286 – Theological Reflections.

[2]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 287.

[3]Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), 2:105.

[4]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Jos 14:1.

[5]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 325.

[6]Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996, c1991), Jos 14:1.

[7]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 326.

[8]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 326.

[9]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 327.

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