GIVE ME THIS MOUNTAIN Andy Hollifield 11-14-17
Joshua 14:7-14 Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. (8) Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the Lord my God. (9) And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine for an inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the Lord my God. (10) And now, behold the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. (11) And yet I am as strong as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. (12) Now therefore give me this mountain whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said. (13) And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. (14) Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.
What a wonderful story of a man who had lived his life for the Lord and was ready for retirement at 85 years old. Not just yet. If you remember, Caleb and Joshua were the only spies of the twelve that Moses sent to spy out the land that brought back a good report. When the other spies began to get the people distressed because of their evil report, the bible says in Numbers 13:30 “And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” In Numbers 14, the people even spoke of making them a captain to take them back to Egypt. When they did this, Aaron and Moses fell on their face before the congregation and Joshua and Caleb rent their clothes. Clothes were an extremely valuable commodity and for someone to intentionally tear their clothes was an expression of disgust and shock. Joshua and Caleb continued to try to persuade the Israelites to go up immediately and take the land, even to the point of telling them that their enemies defence was gone from them and the Lord would certainly give them the land. They begged the congregation not to rebel against the Lord, to the point that the people wanted to stone them. At that time, the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle and told Moses that he would smite the Israelites and make a great nation out of Moses. Moses pleaded for the Israelites and God spared them immediate destruction but did pass sentence that none of them twenty or over would enter the land but would ultimately die in the wilderness. The only exceptions were Joshua and Caleb because they had believed God and brought back a good report. The Lord even said of Caleb that “he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.” The Israelites, after judgment had been handed down, went to the top of the mountain and wanted to invade but Moses told them not to because the Lord was no longer with them. They continued on and got chased back off of the mountain by the inhabitants of the land.
The Lord affirmed his promise to Moses forty years later concerning Caleb saying that the land upon which he trod would be given to him and his children “because he hath wholly followed the Lord.” In Deuteronomy 1 and 2, the bible speaks of the preparation to go into the promised land. On over in Joshua 15:14 we begin to read the story of Caleb’s conquest of his inheritance. It makes for some really good reading even showing a softer side of Caleb showing that although he was a mighty warrior, he was still a soft touch for his daughter.
The thing I want to consider the most is the life of Caleb. It is interesting enough that, at eighty-five years old, he was as strong as he was at forty when he had first spied out the land. That itself, is more than any of us can say. But what stands out to me the most is the patience that Caleb had just waiting for his inheritance. Can you imagine spending forty years, walking around day in and day out with the very people who caused you not to have your inheritance yet because they wouldn’t listen to your advice? That is exactly what Caleb did and I am sure that he thought about that place every day and couldn’t hardly wait until it would finally be his. But there are some things about Caleb we sometimes forget. First off, he was now 85 and had been promised this land since he was 40. That’s 45 years and they were only in the wilderness for 40. During that 45 years, Caleb was still fighting the battles of the people that delayed his inheritance, put up with the uprising of Korah, seen the sin of Moses and later his death, lived through the judgment of the fiery serpents, all the while burying the dead that had rebelled against God. If Israel had of only been obedient to the Lord and not murmured and tempted the Lord those 10 times, Caleb and all of Israel would have been occupying the promised land and Moses would have got to go with them. Have you noticed that Israel would not have fought all the battles they did if they had of been obedient. The Lord was going to drive out the inhabitants but since they refused to go, they spent the next 40 years fighting and their children had to fight to take the promised land.
At 85 years old, Caleb had one more battle to fight. After helping Israel conquer the entire promised land, he had to go drive out the inhabitants of his inheritance. We can learn some lessons from Caleb. One is that what God promises, he is able to do. Also, just because God says we can have something doesn’t mean that we won’t have to work for it. And, I have found out myself that God has 3 answers to prayer but he does answer. They are yes, no, or not now. If we are obedient to his will, he will not withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly (Psalms 84:11). Sometimes, other people may hinder us from seeing God’s promises coming to pass, but even 45 years later, they will come to pass. Last but not least, and possibly the greatest lesson is that, anything worth having is worth waiting for.
I don’t know what your mountain might be, but just be mindful of the one who made you the promise. If God has promised it, he will do it. You may have to wait and you may even have some battles before you see it come to pass. There may be a lot of times that it looks like it’s not gonna happen and you may want to give up. People may stand in your way but God will bring it to pass. Just remember the dying declaration of Joshua. Even in our current legal system, a dying declaration carries significant weight. Joshua 23:14 says, “And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.” His testimony goes on to say in so many words that if they neglect God and go after idols or fail to obey his commandments and statutes, that he will bring evil upon them till he has destroyed them from off of the land that he gave them. Stay true to the Lord and he will give you your mountain. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!