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The Magnificent Old Man

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
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June 11, 2021 8:00 am

The Magnificent Old Man

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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June 11, 2021 8:00 am

Caleb had total faith in God, and gave himself utterly to God’s service. This was the secret of his greatness. This is what enabled Caleb to look into the faces of real-live giants without fear. Today on The Bible Study Hour, Dr. James Boice tells the story of this magnificent old man.

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Caleb had total faith in God and gave himself completely to God's service. This was the secret of Caleb's greatness is what enabled him to look into the faces of real-life giants without fear today on the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce tells the story of this magnificent old man Bible study the radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly. Real greatness is not complicated, neither was Caleb.

He was single-mindedly set on God and trusted him totally compared to God. Everyone else, including the Giants were mere grasshoppers.

Dr. Boyce tells Caleb story from Joshua 14. If you pay any attention at all to our church bulletin board out there in the corner of 17th and Spruce Street you'll know that our subject for tonight is that magnificent old man Marlon D. Allen, organist Marlon maybe magnificent all old but that's not what the subject is about that magnificent old man is Caleb who was Joshua's companion fellow soldier bring all these long years of the conquest of Canaan, in the case that, in the presence of an outstanding leader. Other people are overlooked and it's not because the other people are not great in themselves. Sometimes there are even greater than the leaders getting all the attention. In some ways, but for one reason or another, perhaps just because he or she has a position of visibility.

The leader gets the attention and the other people are overshadowed. I was true of Joshua himself when he was associated with Moses. Moses was one that everyone looked ON while Joshua was just there to support him and it was true. Caleb and his association with Joshua. Joshua was the general lease the chief Gen. and Caleb unfortunately was overlooked.

It's really sad that it should be this way because Caleb was really great man. I think we would probably overlook Joshua just the way we overlook Caleb. If it weren't for the fact that Joshua has a book that bears his name.

Caleb doesn't even have a book that Caleb was a great man is were going to see and he was greatly honored by God and by the people. We may forget him.

But God didn't forget I'm and the people didn't forget them either.

And in this portion of Joshua that where studying now we find that has they came to the end of the seven years of fighting in the land and the land was about to be divided up for settlement. Caleb came forward to claim a portion of land that he had expressed an interest in 45 years earlier, and which had been promised to them by Moses. And so it was given the land God honored him for his service in the people honored into a Caleb isn't mentioned in a lot of places in the Old Testament. I post only in about half a dozen or a dozen passages were only three of them in the book of Joshua one is this 14th chapter.

A second is follow-up on the story in chapter 15. And then there's one brief mention in chapter 21 verse 12 the first place we find Caleb in the Bible is not in the book of Joshua, but rather in the 13th chapter of numbers which contains the story of Moses, choice of the 12 spies which were initially sent into the land to bring back a report so that when the people at this time had only been two years in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt when they were ready to go into the land they know how to proceed with the conquest I was. I say this was two years after they had come out of Egypt, and Caleb was 40 years old time early on in that 13th chapter of numbers there's a listing of all the spines 12 of them in the tribes that they represented an interesting feature of this that Caleb the son of Jeff Luna.

Obviously, the same one that we meet within Joshua represents Judah. That means that Caleb must've been a member of the tribe of Judah, that's perfectly evident.

What is interesting is that he is elsewhere, as for example in this 14th chapter of Joshua described as being the son of Jeff Luna that can recite interesting thing about that is that Kevin sites were not Jews or people who lived in the land. As a matter of fact, if you go back to that first promise of the land to Abraham that you find in Genesis 15, you find that the candidate sites are mentioned there is being mom the people that the Jews at a later date. Were going to drive out God said to Abraham, to your descendents I give this land from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates. The land of the Canaanites that Kevin sites that's it metabolites it types parasites, ref I-ites, Amorites, Canaanites, your Cushites and Jebusites. So Caleb, however, had Lisa's father was a foreigner we don't know how we got to be with the Jewish people. He may wary well have gone down to Egypt for one reason or another, and suffered the same kind of abuse and perhaps imprisonment that they suffered so a fallen in with them.

That way he may have been in the form of his ancestors among those people of the land that made their way down with the Jewish people. Initially, though that's less probable. At any rate, at some point in that long history this man Jeff Uno, the father of Caleb identified himself with the Jewish people became a Jew and Caleb's son picked up that identification and was a member of the tribe of Judah. Now in this 13th chapter of numbers begins to tell us about the work of the spines it doesn't give us very much detail as to how they went about their work.

We don't know for example whether they toured around in the body or whether they divided up we might suspect that they divided up so as not to attract too much attention lovably. That's what they did. One thing I suspect as I read about this is that whether they divided up, whether they went around as a group. Caleb must have expressed some particular interest in Hebron. Hebron is the only one of the cities of the landless described in any detail they are. The 13th chapter of numbers. It tells the they explore the land from the desert of sin all the way up to label how much that's broad general designation of exploring the whole country what it does say in verse 22 they went through the negative and came to Hebron where a home on Cheyenne, the descendents live. I say I suspect that Caleb must've had a special interest in that and so we either said to the spies look is all land are to be explored with the one thing I want to make sure we see is Hebron, or else he said all right working to divide up you go this way you go that way, but the place and I'm going to go to is Hebron because I really want to see that city say to yourself why you have any special interest in Hebron answer of course is that that was the closest thing to as sacred site for the Jewish people in all the land of Canaan is where Abraham would live.

That's where Sarah had died. That's where Abraham in order to abide to for Sarah had purchased the cave of Machpelah in Hebron. It was the only portion of all the land of Canaan. Abraham, the father of the Jewish people actually owned and when Abraham died. He was buried in Hebron, and Isaac was buried in Hebron, and Jacob.

Oh, he died in Egypt was brought back and buried in Hebron and their wives were buried in Hebron, and Joseph when he was dying as that's recorded for us at the very end of the book of Genesis said. Now when you go up from here when the Lord delivers you out of this land was going to be hundreds of years after that. But he said when the Lord delivers you when you go up take my bones up with you and bury me there in Hebron as well save must've been something special to Caleb because well you know someone who is a citizen of a country can take a kind of lightly and perhaps even be unhappy with the Association. You have such things as ex-patriots. People will become unhappy with her country go live somewhere else but somebody really loves the country it's one who is a first generation or at most a second generation newcomer who has achieved citizenship and is really proud of that Caleb must've been like that, having been a foreigner and with his new citizenship he said to himself.

I want to go to that place and see where the roots of this new people this Jewish people of which are now a part where those roots lie. I think he looked at that town of Hebron during those days or weeks of spying out the land and said now God gives us land. This is the place I want to come to this is the portion of the land.

I want to have my self with something else interesting about this land of Hebron, though the spies reacted differently about were giants, there in Hebron.

This made such an impression.

As I said that this is what's recorded in numbers as a matter of fact, the son so panic giant that everyone heard about live there. Their names were a him on Cheyenne Townline spies saw that and so they came back and they made their report. 10 of the majority. They said we can't attack those people because they're stronger than we are. They said to the Israelites land. We explored the flowers those living in it.

All the people we saw there are a great size we saw the naphthalene mayor of the descendents of panic come from the naphthalene we seem like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we look the same to them were lots of things in spies agreed on. They agreed that the land really was a good land, just as God said it was it was a land flowing with milk and honey all I would love to live there and they agreed that it had a lot of great cities, and that they were strongly fortified. Even Caleb and Joshua didn't disagree with that and they agreed.

Moreover, that there were lots of people there, but the tenants spies said yes and there are giants and we can't overpower them now when they said all the people of the land are giants, they were exaggerating all the people were giants that were just normal people like they were but there were giants and doesn't take a whole lot of giants to scare you.

If you're inclined to be frightened by giants. Two of them seem like a host three of the must've seemed like the whole land of Canaan and so they came back they said all people are giants and we do seem like grasshoppers when we compare ourselves to them and that wasn't the way Caleb looked at it. Caleb said all know that's true. The great laminar great cities in the cities are strongly fortified and there are giants in those cities at least 33 of them there Hebron.

I saw the myself but we can take that land translation. Caleb even uses the word. Certainly, he says we can certainly do it.

We know what happened. The same thing that often happens, the majority opinion. The timorous opinion prevailed in the people said well I guess we can do that.

It's all been a false dream God has brought us appear for nothing and so they decided not to go God judged that generation. They had to spend the next 38 years wandering in the desert until every one of their number was 40 years of age or older at the time it died and it was with a new generation led by Caleb and Joshua were the only exceptions in the judgment that finally entered the land but that's the history of this magnificent old man now it's worth asking. At that point what the secret of this man's greatness. Once it's no great secret, Caleb had total faith in God and he gave himself to God. Utterly that's really worth saying again. Caleb had total faith in God and he gave himself to God in the service of God utterly is not hard to see his faith, that comes out very simply, in this matter of the spies initial report know it's the case that real greatness is not complicated.

Great people are not complicated. It's generally weak. People that are complicated. I always have dozens of mutually contradictory ideas floating around in their minds and dozens of mutually contradictory courses of action.

They see that this might be something that would be worth doing. But then again not quite sure about that. It might be more valuable to do something else and and they see that well. Perhaps they could go about the task this way.

That might work, but that again might be another way that would be better.

Great leaders are not like that. It's not that they're nave.

I see the difficulties they probably see the difficulties more clearly than the others.

That's one reason why they succeed as leaders but they are single-minded. That's to say, although there are many goals there is one that is chiefly worth pursuing. Although there are many ways of getting there is one path that is best in this Caleb was like I think back in church history, and I recognize that that is been true of all the great heroes we look back to buyer. Athanasius was like that Athanasius lived in the years of the Trinitarian controversies when they were trying to decide officially in the church, whether Lord Jesus Christ was fully divine, and if so, how it was related to God the father whether they were to God subordinate God's one was a God was not a God whether Jesus was.

Eternal refrigerants such things is very very complicated. You read the history of those debates requires enormous mental concentration to keep straight the kind of arguments were going on and what four, Athanasius was a long, long lifetime I complicated, but Athanasius was not complicated. He understood that the chief thing was to preserve the deity of Jesus Christ. That is what mattered and theological terminology only mattered to the extent that it preserve that central thrust of. So with that in mind, And Eventually Was Vindicated.

It Was the Theology of Athanasius That Won the Day and It's Embodied in a Number of Our Creeds.

Martin Luther Was Single-Minded All Luther Lived in a Very Tempestuous Age. They Were All Kinds of Things Going on around Them. Read the Historians Historians Can Point out All the Complexity of the Age of the Reformation, but Luther Was Single-Minded. Luther Understood That the Crucial Thing in His Time Was This Matter of Justification by Faith. That's What the Roman Church of the Middle Ages and Lost on That If You Lost That Doctor You Lost All the Church Walls of Justification by Faith.

False and so He Said I'm Willing to Die for That Dr. Stood His Ground. He Was Vindicated. William Wilberforce Was a Leader, That Same Strike.

He Fought against Slavery in England and All You Can Bet There Were Arguments on the Other Side. People Said Little Economic Fabric of the British Empire Is Wrapped up with Slavery. If You Tear down Slavery. Well, You Know, You Destroy England. He Saw That the Central Thing Here Was a Moral Issue Involved Would Be Far Better to Be Weaker As a Country to Do the Right Thing Morally Because That's Where the Real Strength Is and so He Thinks Design on That and That It until Eventually. Slavery Was Eliminated from the British Empire, Abraham Lincoln Was Such a Person in This Country, and so on. We Could Name Many, Many Other Leaders. This Is What Caleb Was like for Caleb.

The Central Thing Was Whether or Not You Could Trust God That You Can Trust God, Then by Definition, You Could Trust God Totally 50% of the Time Not in 80% of the Circumstances, but You Trust God Totally and He Was Certainly Able to Do and Would Do What He Promised to Do. Now, As I Say Comes Forth Very Clearly in This Report of the Spies the Spies Came Back and They Talked about All These Giants They Said You Know We Saw These Giants We Saw These Giants Well. We Just Seem like Grasshoppers in Our Own Lives.

What Was Wrong with the Report.

Why Didn't They Have Faith in God Totally This Caleb That the Answer Is Very Simple.

Again, Looking at God. Looking at the Giants Stand There Look at the Problems, the Problems Always Seem Overwhelming Because All You Have Is a Point of Reference As Yourself You in the Problems and the Problems Are Big. Well You Seem Small and You Begin to Tremble When You Say Will I Can Never Overcome Those Problems but This Wasn't the Way It Was with Caleb.

Caleb Allows Hattie's Eyes on God and When Caleb Had His Eyes on God.

Well, Compared to God, Giants. They Seem like Grasshoppers and Caleb Said We Can Certainly Do It.

One of the Great Commentators on This Particular Story.

Alan Redpath Wrote of Caleb and Joshua's Faith.

The Majority Measured Giants against Their Own Strength. Caleb and Joshua Measured the Giants against God. The Majority Trembled to Triumphed Majority Had Reached Giants a Little God.

Caleb Had a Great God and Little Giants and It Was True. I Think of One Other Example of That. Just to Show That It's Basic Principle in Scripture It's Example of Peter When He Was in the Boat in the Storm.

Jesus Came to Them Walking on the Water.

Recall the Peter Looked out and Saw Jesus in Called out to Him and Said More Than It's Really You Bid Me Come to You on the Water at His Eyes on Christ. Jesus Said, so Peter and the Magnificent Show. Faith Climbed Out Of the Boat on the Water and Began to Walk across the Board.

Jesus Was Well until He Took His Eyes off Jesus Looked at the Water As Long As He Was Looking at the Master All Wind and Wave Well the Wave Seem Small but When He Began to Look at the Waves Peter Seem Small and He Said Look, These Waves Are to Swallow Me up in the Ground and the Data Loses Faith and Started to Sink. It Was Something That Had Been Jesus Who Reached out His Hand and Touch Peter Lifted Him up and Brought Them Back into the Boat to See How the Principle Operates Long As You and I Are Looking at the Difficulties of Life. The Difficulties Are Always Going to Be Bigger Than We Are. Sometimes a Little Problem Set My Talk about Those Things We Can Handle by Me When You're up against. The Real Difficulty of the Difficulty Is Bigger Than You Are Is Arrogance to Say Well I Can Handle It Because of All Your Thing about His Handling and Usually That's All You Have and That Is the Only Additional Element in Your Frame of Reference That You're Going to Sigh All It's a Goodly Land Would Be Nice If I Could Be Done, but We Can't Do It. We Can't Do It We Have To Go Back You Have Your Eyes on God and Trust God Completely the Way Caleb Did. Then Really Can Go Forward and God Really Will Do What Is Promised to Do in Your Life.

So That's One Thing I Said When I Was Describing the Secret of Caleb's Faith. Caleb Trusted God Totally and He Gave Himself to God Utterly Admits That Second Thing That Comes out Particularly in Joshua 14 Comes out in This Word Wholeheartedly, Which Is Repeated There Three Times You Find It Once in Verse Eight. I However Followed the Lord My God Wholeheartedly Divided in Verse Mine Land on Which Are Free to Walk Will Be Your Inheritance and That of Your Children Forever Because You Have Followed the Lord My God Wholeheartedly and Then You Find It Again toward the End of Verse 14 so Hebron Has Belonged to Caleb, Son of Jeff Luna, Kenneth Site Ever since. Because He Followed the Lord, the God of Israel Whole Heartedly. That's the Same Idea That Is Involved in Deuteronomy 65 Which Jesus Quoted What He Was Asked What Was the First and Greatest of All the Commandments He Said It's That You Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart with All Your Soul Will Blow Your Mind.

Caleb Loved the Lord His God with All His Heart, so We Served Them with All His Heart and He Did It through a Long, Long Lifetime Inherently and He Still Doing That Magnificent Old Man Who Satan When Caleb First Saw Hebron Back City That Ancestral Toehold in Canaan Stuck in His Mind and He Said to Himself God Blessed Me That's the Land I'm Going to Have Somebody Got Back from the Spine Operation. He Said to Moses I Were to Go in There. Take That Landmark Way on and When We Do As a Portion of It. I Want You to Give to Me. I Want to Take It Myself. It's Hebron Is Where the Giants Live. I Want to Show That We Can Really Do It and Moses Said All Right Then You Know What Happened. I Had to Wonder for 38 Years, and for 38 Years. That Was the Vision of Canaan That Was in the Eye and Mind of Caleb. He Said Hebron. Hebron That Symbolize the Land for Him, All Yes There Was Jerusalem and Bethel and Jericho and All His Plays about People Could Deal with Those. Hebron Was the Place Caleb Wanted to Take the Time Came across Jordan and Fight the Battles He Fought the Battles. He Stood There, Shoulder to Shoulder with Joshua Route All Those Years of the Conflict.

Seven Years Although Seven Years. He Never Forgot Hebron and When He Came to the End That It Was Time to Divide up the Land He Said to Joshua Now Then, Just As the Lord Promised He Is Kept Me Alive for 45 Years since the Time He Said This to Moses While Is Removed about in the Desert. So Here I Am Today 85 Years Old. I Am Still As Strong Today Is the Day Moses Sent Me out.

I Just As Vigorously Go to Battle Now As I Was Land so Give Me the Hill Country That the Lord Promised Me That Day. You Yourself Heard.

Then the Anti-Kites Were There and Their Cities Were Large and Fortified, but Lord Helping Me. I Will Drive Them Out Of the Land. And That's Exactly What He Did, 15 Chapter Tells Us What He Did There Were Two Main Cities and That Area There Was Hebron That We Been Talking about the Beer He Himself Took Hebron Because That's Where the Giants Were Needed Said That God Could Do It. He Wanted to Show That He Was Right. God Really Could Do It and so He Drove out Those Giants, Their Names Appear Here Again, It's Interesting Shy Shy off Your Mind, and Tall like the Descendents of Anna, the Descendent of the Definitely Then There Was the Beer and He Said I'll Give My Daughter Access to the Man Who Goes up There and Takes It.

I Think He Wasn't Trying to Bargain. He Was Just Saying the Man I'd like for Son-In-Law's a Man That Has the Same Kind of Courage I Did. I Took Hebron. Let's See If He Can Take This Other City Were Told off Neil Son of Candace Caleb's Brother Relative Took It so They Were Married in Caleb Gave Them Their Portion of the Land and Others a Great Contrast Year in the Story. I'm Sure It's Whites Told at This Point Right in the Middle of This Account of the Division of the Land Great Contrast between Caleb Who Follow the Lord Wholeheartedly to the Very End and Took the Land That He'd Been Promised so Many Years before and the People As a Whole, Who for the Most Part Failed to Fully Possess These Possessions All Had the Land, They Were There the Power of the Canaanites Was Broken. It Had Been Broken during the Seven Years of Military Conquest. All of the Great Cities of Been Overthrown, but the Land Was Divided up. They Were to Go into Their Individual Portions of the Land and Subdue It Drive the Inhabitants out and Were Told Again and Again in These Chapters That They Didn't Quite Do It.

They Settled down the Enjoy Conquest without Carrying It through to Completion. You Would Ask Me Why. I Suppose Putting It in Their Terms. I'd Say They Were Just Tired of Fighting and They Said to Themselves Slickly without It for Seven Years.

My Goodness, It's Time to Quit What I Said Look, We Conquered and Lawfully We Have Houses to Live in Cities Which to Dwell in Errors.

The Vineyards We All Grow Well Honey, What We Ought to Do Now Is Really Settle down What They Wanted Was Peace and Prosperity. The Kind of Thing That Does Held out As Enticement to so Many Professing Christians Today Know They Say, Come Be a Christian and Be Saved Safe and Satisfied As If There Were No Battles to Be Fought. This Was No Land to Be What No Pass Be Taken on a Settle down Here Was Caleb Who Didn't Do That Until the Very End.

That's Really Magnificent. I Want to Say That That's Our Task to and I Want to Give You Verse That Says It Very Clearly. You Know, in the 11th Chapter of Hebrews Is That Great Listing of All Heroes of the Faith from the Old Testament Caleb Is Mentioned Many Any Others Are There Is a Short Reference to the Conquest Includes the Other Things but after That's over.

After All These Great Heroes of the Faith Were Brought before Us. For Examples, the Offer of That Book in the 12th Chapter Applies It Us Very Direct and Personal Way by Saying This. Therefore, since We Are Surrounded by Such a Great Cloud of Witnesses, Those Who Have Gone before. Let Us Throw off Everything That Hinders and the Sin That so Easily Entangles, and Let Us Run with Perseverance the Race Marked out for Us What Is Fix Our Eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of Our Faith, Who for the Joy Set before Him Endured the Cross, Scorning Its Shame, and Sat down at the Right Hand of the Throne of God. Consider Him Who Endured Such Opposition from Sinful Man so That You Will Not Grow Weary and Lose Heart. I'm Sure That in Almost 38 Years of Waiting and in the Seven Years of Fighting Were Many Times When Caleb the Soldier Grew Weary to Grow Weary in God's Service, but Caleb Did Not Lose Heart.

The Reason He Didn't Lose Heart to City Had His Eyes Fixed on God As We Are Told Here to Fix Our Eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Our Faith. So Because He Didn't Lose Hardy Serve God Wholeheartedly, As You and I Are Likewise Challenged to Do Is Pray Our Father to Bless These Words to Us We Find Again and Again in This Life, Because We Are Weak and We Are Sinful That We Get so down and so Discouraged and We Are on the Verge of Losing Heart We Say It's a Nice Idea, but I Can't Do It or We Say It Can't Be Done. Father Lift Our Eyes to Jesus See Him One That Endured Such Scorn Opposition of Sinful Man and yet, Nevertheless Went on Victoriously to the Cross and Rose from the Dead to Be Our Savior and Lord Granted As We Serve Him. We Too Might Be Born up in Spirit and Carried on and Strengthened the Great Tasks That Are before Us Do It Not Just for Five or 1020 Years, but for a Whole Lifetime and Grant That We Might Have the Privilege and Honor at the End of Die Still in Christ Service. We Pray in His Most Blessed Amen.

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