Caleb: A Whole-Hearted Believer

Numbers 13-14 Caleb...A Whole-Hearted Believer  © 10/11 WF Cobb

Numbers 14:17  "And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, 18 'The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in hesed, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.' 19 "Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now." 20 Then the LORD said: "I have pardoned, according to your word; 21  "but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD-- 22 "because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, 23  "they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor
shall any of those who rejected Me see it. 24 "But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.
Joshua 14:11 "As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12 "Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the LORD spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the LORD said." 13 And Joshua blessed him.

1Cor 10:11-4 OT written for NT saints     OT Israel as much participants in Christ as:…        NT Believers .. Rock that accompanied "them..was Christ” 1Cor 10:4
Provision for Atonement                        Passover Lamb (Ex 12)                                          Christ our Passover (1Cor 5:7)
Exercise of Faith                                     Red Sea (Ex 14:31)                                                 Belief (Jn 1:12)
Ongoing Pardon                                      Forgiveness (Num 14:20)                                       Forgiveness (1Jn 1:9)
Result of Rebellion                                 Disinheritance (Num 14:23)                                   Disinheritance (Heb 4; 1Cor 3:15; 9:27)

I. THE FOLLY OF FAILING TO FOLLOW (Num 13-14 Hebrews 2,3,6,10,12 warning passages)     
Focus off God (and His promises {see Memory verses})....Fear (problems)....Falter (disobedience)....Failure (loss: now and future)

A. Wholehearted Believers will face giants of Renewal (get act together), Relationships (thru auditions), and Responsibilities (take it on the road)...
                1. Will be opposed by the majority (only two out of the whole generation fully followed, cf 
                    Noah, David, Prophets, Athanasius)
                2. Will encounter bigger than average giants (if living for God's glory)
                3. Will be tested while awaiting fulfillment of God's plan (cf testing of faith)

  B. ...but will have an accurate View of God, Man, and Circumstances, knowing:  
             (see God’s best self description in Exodus 33:18-34:8)
                1. God is bigger than any problems we face (God + 1 = Majority 1 John 4:4)
                2. God is with us as we walk with Him in His way (2 Kings 6:15-17)
                3. Who God is, what He's promised, and that God always keeps His promises (Hebrews 11:6)

  C. Characteristics of a Whole-Hearted Believer
                1. Attempts great things for God's glory (Joshua 14:12; Daniel 11:12 exploits)
                2. Believes and acts upon the revealed promises of God (Numbers 14:8 delights in us)             
                3. Concentrates on what God will do instead of just focusing on the past (Joshua 14:12a)
                4. Draws on God's strength to fight battles (energizes the sword) (Joshua 14:12b)
                5. Encourages others to fully follow after God (Numbers 13:30; Joshua 14:8; 15:16-17)
                6. Follows in the face of danger and discomfort since their will is not their own (Numbers 14:24)
                7. Gets and generously shares God's fullest blessings (Joshua 15:19) {be sure to pass on more 
                    than temporal blessings}
D. How to be a Whole-Hearted Believer
                1. Know: Who God is and what He has promised regarding your life and giant(s) (Hebrews 11:6)
                2. Abide: Obediently be aware of God's daily strengthening and presence (Joshua 14:11; 1 Samuel                     15:22; James 4:4-8; John 15:4-8)
                3. Don't Give: Pieces of your heart to the idols of security and pleasure (I Kings 11:4, 1 Corinthians 10:14;  
                    Colossians 3:5)
                4. Learn: from the OT Blessings/Cursings lessons (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 29; 1 Corinthians 10:6; Galatians 6:16)
                5. Fully Follow: the Revealed will of God without wavering (Numbers 14:24)
                     6. Don’t Be Stubborn: Judges 2:19 They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.  Hosea 4:16, Proverbs 2
Psalm 78:8  not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, that did not set its heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
Psalm 81:12  So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels. Isaiah 46:12  Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness:  Jeremiah 6:28  They are all stubborn rebels, walking as slanderers. Ezekiel 2:4  they are impudent and stubborn children.

Questions for Discussion/Reflection:
1. Do you believe the majority of believers will receive their full reward and inheritance? Why/why not?
2. What is the toughest giant to face? Does that change? Why do believers make only half-hearted attempts to kill their giants?
3. In what area of their lives do believers have the greatest difficulty faithfully following God? Where are they stubborn? Why? What helps?
4. What does a wholehearted believer look like today? What do you look like compared to a wholehearted believer?
5. What can we do to insure that the next generation won’t falter and fail as did the generation after Joshua and Caleb?
ACTION POINT: What weapons in "D." do you need to use against your giant(s)? What steps do you need to take?

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