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Welcome to Expound, our verse by verse study of God's word. Our goal is to expand your knowledge of the truth of God by explaining the word of God in a way that is interactive, enjoyable, and congregational.
Father, thank you that you enabled us in our week to just take this break and come together as your body. The body of Christ related to Jesus our head. Us being individual members just like a human body. All of us with different parts and functions, but all related to one another, and all related to you, our head, our Lord. The one who calls the shots. The one to whom we submit.
The ones who receive the impulses sent by the head, Christ, through the nervous system, the Holy Spirit, to each member. I pray that we would operate smoothly. We would love each other, respect each other, glorify you in the process. In Jesus' name, amen.
Joshua. What a guy. Joshua was a common man with an uncommon work. Up to this point, he had an uncommon work. I'll explain that in a moment. But I said he was a common man. He was. He was a human being. He was from one of the tribes of Israel. The tribe of Ephraim, a large tribe.
He was the son of Nun. I like to give it the Hebrew pronunciation, "Noon" would be his name-- Joshua son of Nun. I know it looks like nun, but sometimes if you say that too fast, it might just come out wrong. He's not the son of a nun. I've had people actually read that, and that's just wrong on so many levels.
So this is Joshua the son of Nun from the tribe of Ephraim. A common man. He trusted God. God was his strength. He was a man of faith, but he was a person. He was a human. A common man. But he up to this point had an uncommon task.
He was the one who directed the children of Israel to cross the Jordan River during flood stage by an act of God that happened. But it was an uncommon task to which he was called to lead. Then, bringing down the walls of Jericho. No he didn't do that, but again, this common man was involved in an uncommon task.
It's a very uncommon thing to have a city just fall apart at the seams on its own. But he was there, he led that operation under the direction of God. An common task. A common man doing uncommon work. But now, beginning in chapter 13 of the book of Joshua, all of that changes.
He's now a common man doing a common work of taking the land that has been conquered by the grace and glory of God. Yes, the blood, sweat, and tears of many people, but it was God who gave it to them. He's the one he said that he would drive out the enemies from before them.
But he has the common task now that the land is conquered of dividing up the land among the different tribes of Israel. To many people chapter 13 begins a slow down process in their Bible reading. Oh, it's exciting up to this point, but now, now, it reads like a real estate contract where you have boundary names, and other boundary names, and this gorge, and that little rivulet, and this person owning that piece, and there's lots of details. And now, a lot of us don't like details.
We don't like all those names. They're hard to pronounce. We don't like all those places. They're hard to pronounce. But what I love is it tells us that God is a god of details. The details obviously matter to him he bothered to record them. And again, some of these names you don't care about, but if it was your name you would care about it.
And I guarantee you those people when their names were read they were pretty stoked. I'm sure they weren't thinking my name's going in the Bible, but it would. I love that about God. What we would relegate as something not important, God says, excuse me that person is going in my Bible, or that place is going in my Bible.
Now this happened many years ago, but the Bible says these things were written for our, our, in the New Testament, our present day, our admonition. And that there are lessons to be drawn from them. Now, in the book of Joshua the word land appears 85 times.
Because that's what it's about. It's about the land covenant that God promised to Abraham. So we would expect the land, the land, the land, the land, the land, to be repeated over and over again, and it is 85 times. Another 60 times the word inherit, or inheritance, shows up in the book of Joshua, because that's what the book is about.
It's about the children of Israel inheriting the land inheritance that God promised to Abraham. That's what it is about. So they've conquered the land, and now they begin to settle it. Now my dad was a real estate developer, so I kind of like this section. Not that I sat around and read his real estate contracts.
I can't make heads or tails out of those things. I didn't quite get them. They're laborious. Most people don't even read their own, by the way. They just bring it to their broker and this-- or lawyer and say, have you read this? Are we good here? Where do I sign? But my dad had a lot of those things lying around, and he developed parcels of land, so I kind of like the fact that we're in this section.
And also my grandpa was a homesteader. Any of you heard of homesteaders? There used to be the great American Homestead Act. The government allowed you to take any land within a certain range. You could have it. It's yours for absolutely nothing as long as you settle it.
You protect it. You register it. You maintain it. It's your land. It stays in your family. My grandfather homesteaded a tract of land, and my dad was a real estate developer, so here we are in the section of the book of Joshua where I should enjoy myself. That's my dad speaking.
Verse one. Now, Joshua was old. Advanced in years. And the Lord said to him, you are old, advance in years, and there remains very much land to be possessed. Don't you love God's honesty? He comes and states the obvious. He didn't say, oh you look so good for your age. You're old. You're way out there in years.
We could figure that Joshua was about 100 years old. He dies at 110, Joshua 24 tells us. So we wouldn't be too far off to peg his age at around 100. So I don't think God is exaggerating, or being mean to you, the dude is old, and well advanced in years.
It's funny how we are with age. You know, we monitor age in a strange kind of a manner. When a baby is born we give the age by months. Oh he's 17 months old. And then when they get into their years, we go by half years. Oh he's 7 and 1/2, and that half to a seven-year-old is quite important.
Then we go by full years. Then you reach a point where you're more comfortable with decades. I'm in my 50s. Especially if you're 59 you like to say that. Then you just come to a place where it's just not polite to ask. That's what we're told. Don't ask.
God comes to him and says you're old, you're advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed. Now he is old. It's obvious, but again who likes to be reminded of their age. But it needed to be. He needed to be reminded, because he would kick the bucket soon, and there was still work to be done.
I just want to share this with you, because this has been one of my favorite things for years, and I remember when I found it when I was young, and I just made a determination that I didn't want to look back with regrets. I wanted to have enough fun in my life, because life is too short. And there's just enough pain and sorrow, and enough believers that just lock in on all the bad stuff instead of all the great blessings that God has given.
And so this is an old gal. She's writing this in her elder years and she says this, If I had to live my life over I dare to make more mistakes the next time. I'd relax more. I'd limber up. I would be sillier than I have been on this trip. I would take few things seriously. I would take more chances. I'd climb more mountains, and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
OK I'm latching on to that.
I would perhaps have at more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones. You see, I'm one of those people who lives sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh I've had my moments, and if I had to do it all over again I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to do nothing else, just moments. One after the other, instead of living so many years ahead of time.
I'd be one of those persons who never goes anywhere-- I am one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, or a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I had to do it all over again, I would travel lighter than I have. If I had to live all over again, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring, and stay that way later in the fall. I would-- I would go to more dinners. I would ride more merry go rounds. I would pick more daisies.
I bring that up because Joshua, and you'll meet another one tonight, God willing, Caleb is like that. They're old and advanced in years, but they're raring to go, especially Caleb. He wants to climb more mountains like this gal said.
Somebody once said you know you're old when you look forward to a dull evening. You know you're getting old when your friends call you at 9 o'clock at night and ask, did I wake you. You know you're getting old when you sink your teeth into a big juicy steak, and they stay there.
I don't know if Joshua knew he was getting old or not, so God just told him you're old. That's the sign you're old. I told you you're old and advanced in years. Now notice it says, there remains-- verse 1-- very much land yet to be possessed. All the major battles are done. The land effectively is conquered.
He conquered the middle section. There was then a southern campaign. The south was conquered. The north was conquered. All those kings that banded together in coalitions are defeated. The land is theirs. But-- but they have to settle it. They have to divide it up and settle in those places. Because all of the Canaanite populations are still intact, so there remains much land.
Now starting in verse 2, he tells them what land, what portions of the land, are yet to be conquered. He starts with the south. He moves to the north. He'll point out the land of the Philistines, the Philistine country. Which when we typically go to Israel we spend a day in the Philistine country. And then he works his way up north to the Phoenician seaport and Lebanon, which we don't go to because today it's in Lebanon. But I have been there, and they were to settle that area far up in the north.
So this is the land-- verse 2-- that remains. All the territory of the Philistines. That is that of the Geshurites. From Sihor, which is east of Egypt as far as the border of Ekron northward, which could be counted as Canaanite. The five lords of the Philistines, the Gazathites, Ashdothites, the Eshkalonites, the Gittites, the Ekronites, and the Avites. All right -ite.
OK, from the south all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, as far as Aphek to the border of the Amorites. The land of the Gebalites, and all Lebanon toward the sunrise from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon as far as the entrance to Hamath. All the inhabitants of the mountains from Lebanon, as far as the brook Misrephoth, and all the Sidonians, them-- them I will drive out from before the children of Israel. Only-- here's what you need to do Josh-- only divide it by lot to Israel as an inheritance as I have commanded you.
Now therefore divide this land as an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half tribe of Manasseh. Joshua brought them across the Jordan into the promised land, and yet they can't rest. It's not a land of rest. It's a land to work. It's a land to fight for. It's a land to settle.
Now I'm bringing this up because there is that scripture-- I won't have you turn to it-- but it's in Hebrews chapter 4, where the Lord says there was no rest for the children of Israel in the wilderness while they were wandering. Joshua brought them into the promised land, but he didn't bring them into their rest. And he spoke of another day that would come-- in the future where they would come to a place of rest.
And the author of that book says, it was speaking of the rest we have in Christ. We cease from trying to do good works to be right with God, and we rest in the finished work. But he uses Joshua as an example. He brings them into the land, but they can't just hang out now.
They can't put the hammock on the tree head back and just watch videos. There's much to do. And there's much work ahead. Now Joshua, because he is old, won't be able to complete all of this. His task was to bring them in. He won't be there for the entire settlement of the land.
So Joshua's work is coming to an end, and it will be completed by others. As you get older, it's daunting to realize the truth of what I just said. That I may never finish the work that's in my mind that I want to do. That I feel the Lord has called me to do. I may not be able to get it all done. I'll be able to do a certain portion, but others will complete what I start.
And you go, well that's a sad thought. No it's a grand thought. Here's the thought-- Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God buries his workmen, but his work goes on. After Joshua there will be others. God will raise up others. After Moses God raised up Joshua. After Joshua others will be raised up.
Stephen was killed in the New Testament Book of Acts. That was a sad day for the church, but the Lord raised up a man named Paul the Apostle, who became a witness, not just in Jerusalem, but throughout the known world at the time. John Wickliffe, a great father in the faith died, but god raised up a Martin Luther. And on and on and on the story goes.
The work that we do others will finish. I love that thought. I love leaving the future to God instead of worrying about, oh what's going to happen after I die? Who cares. I don't / I'm going to be enjoying heaven, how about you. So we leave that for others, and it's good to be reminded of that from time to time.
In fact, every now and then you ought to just take a walk through a cemetery. And just go up and down and look at those stones. You know it's like you know what, they died, and that was-- they lived a good life, and boy that was sad when they went, but you know what, the world still goes on. And God's work still goes on. And God has worked for us to do. The baton is passed to us, so we run.
And we want to run without regret. We want to run and be able to say I have finished my course, or I finished my race. I've run the race. I've kept the faith. Now, verse seven-- therefore divide this land as an inheritance to the nine tribes and a half tribe of Manasseh-- I'll explain that in a moment-- with the other half tribe the Reubenites, the Gadites received their inheritance which Moses had given them beyond the Jordan eastward, as Moses the servant of the Lord had given them.
You see-- and you'll remember-- back in Numbers the 30 second chapter as the children of Israel had left the real bad part of the wilderness and were sweeping up eastward of the Jordan River. Now the promised land technically is the Jordan River crossing over west of the Jordan River. From the West Bank of the Jordan River. That's where the term West Bank comes from. The West Bank of the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea that's the promised land.
But as they were coming up on the trans-Jordan, the 2 and 1/2 tribes mentioned here, Reuben, Gad, half of Manasseh, noticed that, especially up north at this elevated area, was beautiful. Green, lush, and I can just having been there in that place-- it is gorgeous, lush, great pasture land for cattle. They had many head of cattle. And they said to Moses, look we have a lot of livestock, this is good land, we would rather not cross over the Jordan River.
And Moses got all upset, he goes you're going to discourage the people. This is the land God wants us to have not or-- that land across the Jordan, not this land. This is-- the promised land is there. And so they said, well tell you what, we'll go with you into the new land, we'll leave our flocks here to graze, we'll leave our young families here, our wives, our children, and people to look out for them, because the enemies have been conquered. And we as fighting men will go with you, and conquer the land with you. And once the land is conquered then we can go back.
Moses said deal. Now I'm paraphrasing a little bit. He didn't really say deal. But that's the gist of it. So they did. They went over conquered the land. Now they're going back-- referring back to Numbers 32-- the promise that Moses gave to them, to the eastern side of the Jordan River. That's where they're going to go-- the trans-Jordan. So with the other half tribe, the Reubenites, the Gadites, received their inheritance, which Moses had given them beyond the Jordan eastward, as Moses the servant of the Lord had given them.
Then it says from Aroer, which is on the bank of the river Arnon, in the town that is in the midst of the ravine, and all the plain of Medeba, as far as Dibon. And more cities and cities are given. But I want to show you on the map where they settled. We brought a map so you can check it out.
So if you can see the body of water, called the Dead Sea that's the big long body of water in the middle. And then you see that little ribbon that goes up. That's the Jordan River. And that little lake up there on top that's the Sea of Galilee. To the right of that are those 2 and 1/2 tribes. You see Manasseh up top, Gad in the middle, Reuben down below, that's where they settled. Now more about that in a minute. I just wanted to get you oriented with it.
Verse 13 of chapter 13-- nevertheless, the children of Israel did not drive out the Gesherites or the Maacathites, but the Geshurites and the Maacathites dwell among Israel until this day. Now that is a bummer. Just because you'd have to say their name all the time. I say let's get rid of him, so we don't have to do that. Only to the tribe of Levi he had given no inheritance.
The sacrifices of the Lord God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as he said to them. Now I'm going to move you all the way back all the way up to verse 33 for a moment. And notice what it says. But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance. That has no land allotment. No area of real estate for they and their families to settle in. The Lord God of Israel was their inheritance, as he had said to them.
So this is how it worked. The Levites, not like the Ephramites, not like the Gadites, not like the men of Judah, et cetera, they didn't have an area of real estate. But all of the other tribes of Israel supported them so that the Levites could do the work of the ministry in the Tabernacle-- later on the temple. And portions of the offerings that are talked about in the first five books of Moses-- portions of those offerings were given to the Levites as part of their food supply.
So the burnt offering, the meal offering, the thank offering, and the trespass offering. A portion of the food, the meat, the animal that was brought to be sacrificed was given to the Levites. Plus, not only that, they got 48 cities scattered throughout the tribal allotments.
So they didn't get their own land, but they got cities, and they were scattered throughout all the tribes. Now I like this. I like it because instead of putting all of the Levites in one little section, one little tent area, or one little community all by itself, and separating them from the real life of the rest of the nation, they were scattered throughout all the different tribes. So they would perform their task at the central sanctuary-- the Tabernacle-- later the temple.
They would then go back home to that tribe that they were a part of. The city that they occupied. The Levitical city. This placed Levites in every tribe. People who could teach the law. Remind them of God. Encourage them in the Lord. You had people who worked close in the worship of God working among the people. It was a brilliant design. God wanted the worship and the work to always have close proximity with each other.
Now I love what it says that the Lord God of Israel is to be their inheritance. You remember when Abraham was coming through this land before his descendants made their way to Egypt as slaves for 400 years. As Abraham was coming to this land, God appeared to him one night in Genesis 15 he said, Abraham I am your shield and your exceedingly great reward. He didn't say, here's a bunch of money Abraham, here's your reward. He said, I am your shield and your exceedingly great reward.
Now He says to the children of Israel, you don't get the land, but you get the Lord of the land. They get the land of the Lord, you get the Lord of the land. I think the Levites got a better deal. They got that proximity the worship system of the Lord of Israel. They got to witness that day in and day out. They were students of the word. Teachers of the word. The Lord became their inheritance.
Those who are called into the ministry love the ministry to the extent that they just-- they just love serving. They love teaching Bible studies. They love preparing lessons. They love preparing worship. And I remember when I asked my wife, Lenya, to marry me. When we were both single in California I was working in the field of radiology x-ray. And we didn't know much about where we were going or what we were doing. We just-- there's land to be settled. So we moved east.
And I remember the conversation when I asked her to marry me. I said, now, I just want to get this on the table. I'll probably never be able to buy you a house, because the money that I make now in radiology isn't much, and I'm going to be going to part time sooner than later to get a little church started. And who knows what's going to happen there. So just going into this thing, understand the Lord is our inheritance. I'll probably never be able to buy you house.
Well, I was wrong, my Father stepped in, and gave us the money to buy our first townhome. And so that fulfilled the scriptures in the book of Proverbs where it says that houses and riches are an inheritance from Father, so thank you dad. He's now in heaven, and he invested, I think, wisely. But you go into this thing just like, OK, I don't know what's going to happen, but whatever the Lord wants is great, because the Lord is our inheritance and our great reward.
That's what it was. It's not like they were threadbare. They had their own cities. They had certain areas to farm, and collect. But they didn't have a land allotment they could pass on to their children. What was passed on to their sons was the priesthood in the tribe of Levi. So they got-- they got the good end of the deal.
Jesus said lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust cannot corrupt, where thieves cannot break in and steal. I read an article about a break-in in a London bank. Six-- might have been-- no, six armed gunmen broke into a London bank and stole, I think at that time, $7 million they walked away with. Well they-- $7 million dollars cash and goods.
One of the things they took was a safety deposit box with a woman's jewels in them. All of her jewels she had collected. $500,000 worth of jewels that she wore. She had some at home. Those are just the extra one she stored in the bank. And the news article gave her response. After the burglary, she said everything in the world was in that box. My whole world she said was in that box.
How sad a statement. My whole world is in that stinking little jewel box. That's your whole world. That's sad. What will it profit if a man gains the whole world, but loses his own soul. So I don't think the Levites said oh bummer. What a drag, man. My whole world is in that land allotment. No, their whole world would be around the Lord in his work.
Verse 15-- Moses had given to the tribe of the children of Reuben an inheritance according to their families. This is all east of the Jordan. This is what Moses did. Josh is just reaffirming that. Their territory was from Aroer, which is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the cities that is in the midst of the ravine, and all the plain of Medeba, on and on and on and on. Down to verse 23, and the border of the children of Reuben was the bank of the Jordan. This was their inheritance of the children of Reuben, according to their families, the cities and their villages.
Now I have a question-- we're not reading all the little villages, because you and I don't know where they are anyway. I could tell you where the Jordan River. I could tell you where the Arnon Gorges is. I could tell you some of those obvious ravine topographical things, but when you leave this room you won't care or you won't remember. So let me ask a more fundamental question.
Two and a half tribes settled east of the Jordan River. Was it wise for them to do so? I don't think so, and I think history proves that it was an unwise decision. It was an unwise decision because where they lived there were no natural boundaries like if they had been in the land, the natural boundary would be a river, the Jordan River, that demarcated the edge of that land. That's the promised land. Living on the east side of the Jordan, where you elevate in the trans-Jordan, they don't have the same natural boundaries, nor defenses, and that is why when the Moabites, or Amalekites, or Assyrians, or Arameans, or Babylonians attacked, they always went down first.
They fell into captivity first. They got hassled, and many of their people were killed, because they couldn't-- they were exposed, and they didn't have the defense capabilities like they did on the other side of the Jordan. Now, you'll notice that he is dealing here with the tribe of Reuben. Do you remember who Reuben was, and the 12 sons of Jacob. First born. First born.
Now, there is a law, and most of you know this. There is a law of the first born. The firstborn son gets how much of the inheritance? Double portion. Twice as much. But Reuben doesn't. He's first born, and typically would get a double portion, as in that Semitic culture would dictate, but he does not. In fact, he has to settle east of the Jordan. Not that he has to, he wanted to.
But what I want to show you is a prophecy. Way back in Genesis 49, as the old man Jacob is on his death bed, and his 12 boys gather around him, and he gives sort of his last will and testimony. It says Jacob called his sons, and said gather together that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days. Gather together to hear you sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel, your Father. Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the Excellency of dignity-- that's a poetic way of saying you made me a father-- and all the Excellency of power, unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father's bed, then you defiled it.
And then he said to the other 12 boys as he pointed to him, he went up to my couch. What happened is Reuben, his first born, went into his tent, took his concubine named Bilhah, and had sexual relations with her. It was Reuben's attempt to usurp the authority as the patriarch of this growing, burgeoning family, and series of tribes. He says you will not excel. He does not get a double portion, but somebody else in his family does get a double portion, Joseph.
The one that the brothers will scorn and sell to the Midianite traders on their way down to Egypt. Joseph will have two sons, and effectively become like two tribes in Israel. The ones that-- the one that the brother-- the brothers marginalized and put out, will be brought back and be given a double portion, Ephraim and Manasseh. In the same text, I'm reading out of Genesis 49, he says in verse 22, Joseph is a fruitful bow. A fruitful bow by the well. His branches run over the wall. The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him, and hated him, but his bow remained in strength. And it's a beautiful prophecy of God's blessing upon his life.
So Reuben is mentioned. He's on the east side of the Jordan. He does not get a double portion. He is exposed to all of the problems that will-- he will incur by being in that position. And that prophecy is fulfilled. Verse 24 of chapter 13, Moses had also given an inheritance to the tribe of Gad, to the children of Gad, according to their families. Their territory was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the Ammonites, as far as Aroer, which is before Rabbah.
Verse 28-- this is the inheritance of the children of Gad according to their families, the cities, and their villages. Again, this is on the east side of the Jordan. Now we get to that half tribe. Half the tribe of Manasseh settles east. Half the tribe of Manasseh settles west. This is the eastern portion. Moses also gave, verse 29, an inheritance to the half the tribe of Manasseh. For it-- it was for half the tribe of the children of Menasseh, according to their families. Their territory was from all these interesting names to other interesting names. And that is the real estate contract drawing it out.
Verse 32-- these are the areas which Moses had distributed as an inheritance in the plains of Moab, on the other side of the Jordan by Jericho eastward. But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance. The Lord God of Israel was their inheritance as he had said to them. OK, there were 12 sons. There were 12 tribes. But Levi, one of the sons of Israel, was not given a land allotment, so you had 11 tribes. But by Joseph having two tribes, so it's not just the tribe of Joseph, it's now Ephraim and Manasseh. According to the sons, he gets the double portion. There's always 12 tribes of Israel.
Now, chapter 14-- This is the day everyone has waited for. Yeah we know about two and a half tribes in the east, Josh. We've been through that with Moe. We know he promised that to them. Glad you said something about them. But now, here's the land we came and conquered. So they had been looking forward to this for years. This now is pay day. This is where they get their land allotment.
They've been waiting seven years. That's how long it took to conquer the land from entering it and fighting the battle of Jericho till now. These are the areas, verse 1, which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan. This is now from the Jordan westward, which Eleazar the priest, Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes, as the children of Israel distributed an inheritance to them. Their inheritance was by lot. What does that mean?
It probably means that they would have pieces of paper, or parchment, or pottery-- trying to think back-- I keep thinking not back far enough-- probably pottery, names of the tribes were put on them. Tradition says the names were placed in an urn. Now according to what Moses has already said, in the first five books of Moses, the tribes were to be given land proportionate to their size. More people more land.
But the placement of those tribes was by lot. Directed by God, but just so it looked fair to everybody else, they would pull out a lot, read it, and the land would be given. So their inheritance was by lot, as the Lord had commanded, by the hand of Moses for the nine tribes and half tribes. For Moses had given the inheritance of the two tribes and the half tribe on the other side of the Jordan. But to the Levites, he had given no inheritance among them. It's repeated again.
For the children of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim. Now we say Ephraim and Manasseh, but Manasseh was born first, Ephraim was born second. But later on we will read in the Old Testament, God says Ephraim is my firstborn. And it's not unlike the Lord, He's done it several times, to choose the first born last and second born first. He'll reverse the order for his own sovereign purpose. More about that later. I don't want to get bogged down.
And they gave no part to the Levites in the land, except the cities to dwell in, with their common lands for their livestock and property, as the Lord had commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land. Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. Now I'm going to tell you a little bit more about Judah when get to chapter 15, which, who knows when that'll be, but it could be tonight, but-- let's see we start at 6:30, OK so, 8:00 is when I stop, right. That's when we stop the-- OK. I get my-- I could-- listen, I can go on for hours. So I have to keep this in mind.
OK, so the tribe of Judah comes first, because they are the largest tribe. They have most people. They'll be given a huge section of land. So the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb, the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, said to him, you know the word which the Lord said to Moses, the man of God, concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea-- I don't know there's just a sound of gnarly-ness in that voice. Authority. Experience. Now, Caleb, it says was a Kenizzite. Do you see that?
His dad's name is given, Jephunneh, that doesn't mean much to us, but the term Kenizzite does. The Kenizzites, we believe, were not part of the children of Israel originally. They were outsiders. They were outside the covenant of God. They originated, we believe, in the Saudi Arabia area, migrated north into the area of Syria, and when the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, some of these tribes in the Middle East that were Kenizzites, joined themselves to the covenant of Israel, as believers. Outsiders, but believers.
So it's interesting to think of Caleb as a Gentile in a Jewish community. A great man of faith. Now this goes way back in his inheritance, his heritage, nonetheless he is a Kenizzite. Zite And the name Caleb means bold. And he is bold. It means impetuous. And I'm sure that his friends saw him as impetuous, when he said, let's go in and conquer the land. He was one of the 12 spies that Moses sent. Joshua and Caleb gave the good report, the 10 others gave the bad report. He brings this up here. He says you remember that day. You remember what Moses promised me, because I wholly follow the Lord.
He was the guy who said, oh I know there's giants, but we can eat them up. Their bread for us. We can just have a big old giant sandwich. Now, I'm sure that his friends saw that as being impetuous. You know he's a little impetuous, he just likes to, he'll get himself into trouble. Actually, he was just a man of faith. Moving ahead. Let's conquer it. Let's do it.
Bold and impetuous, those are the meanings of the name Caleb. Also, it's the Hebrew name for a dog. Bold, impetuous, or dog. It could mean either. So with a name like dog, you grow up to be a fighter. Remember Johnny Cash's song, A Boy Named Sue. Life ain't easy for a boy named Sue. Life ain't easy for a boy named dog. He grew up a fighter. But bold for the Lord. Not impetuous, but full of faith. Wanting to conquer the land.
Now he goes back and he recollects. Look at verse 7, he says, I was 40 years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him, as it was in my heart. I'm sure as soon as he started talking about the good old days, some of the young people in the crowd started rolling their eyes going, oh no. He's going to launch into that tirade. I've heard it 1,000 times. Ah, 40 year-- oh here it goes. Nevertheless, my brethren who went up with me, made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God.
This is not a bragamony. This is a testimony. He's not boasting and bragging on himself. You know, let me tell you how good I am. He just stating the facts. Some people think that humility is always talking bad about yourself. Oh, I'm just no good at this. That's actually a form of pride. Humility is being known for who you are. He was bold. He was filled with faith. He wholly followed the Lord. Moses said he wholly followed the Lord. So this isn't his bragamony, this is his testimony. I wholly followed the Lord.
So Moses swore on that day, he continued saying, surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance, and your children's forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God. And now behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as he said, these 45 years. He was 40 then. 45 years later he's talking. Ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel wandered in the wilderness, and now, here I am this day, 85 years old. Happy birthday to you Caleb.
Look at verse 11. Yet I am as strong this day as I was 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. Now, in hearing an 85-year-old man tell a crowd I'm as strong at 85 as I was at 40, you're thinking, he lost a marble. No 85-year-old man has the physical strength he had at age 40. But he says I'm as strong as I was then for war.
He was not exaggerating, he was not lying, and this was not supernatural super hero infused strength. The reason he could say that is because he knew the battle was never his to begin with. It was the Lord's. All it took back then when he was 40 was not his strength and manliness, it was just I believe God. I believe he made a promise, and he's going to give us the giants. He's going to give us the land. So he's 85. Nothing has changed. I'm as strong as I was for war, because it was the Lord's battle.
And he knows that the Lord is going to conquer this land like he would have 45 years before. So he's basically saying nothing has changed. I'm fighting my battles at this age like I did at that age. Not by might, not by power, but by my spirit says the Lord. Not by chariot, not by horse, but by trusting in the Lord. So that's how he can say-- it's not like oh this old man is a little addled. No he's dead on when he says that. And I love that he says I'm 85 years old. He's not ashamed of it. He didn't say I'm on the better side of 70. He says I'm 85, today.
Both for going out and coming in. Now therefore, verse 12, now therefore, now that I'm 85, now therefore, give me a villa down by the Mediterranean. Now give me a big screen TV, and a lot of time on my hands to relax with my feet up. I'm 85 I've earned it. He does not say that. I love this old coot. Now therefore give me this mountain, which the Lord spoke in that day for you have heard in that day how the Anakim, the giants, 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. Come on. I want to be like this old dude. He's 85 and he wants a whole new level of challenge. He's not ready to find me a nursing home, and Monday night chariot races. I'm going to just clicked from channel to channel. Oh, there's a marathon in Athens, weee. He's just like, I want to go fight. Love this. Love it.
Now, you remember that again, I'm just reminding you what you already know, Joshua and Caleb looked at the people in the land of Canaan, and noticed that there were giants in the land. The 10 others saw exactly the same thing. There is Giants in the land. So the 10 came back and they said it's a nice land but there's big people. Joshua and Caleb came back and says, it's a nice land and God's going to take down those big people.
They saw exactly the same thing, but their perspective was different. For those 10, they saw big people and a little God. Joshua and Caleb saw a big God, therefore little people. Doesn't matter how big they are on a human scale, they're giants, so what, God's bigger. So maybe we need to come to a place instead of telling God how big our giants, are, telling our giants how big our God is. Our God can take these people out.
And so he at 85 voices that same level of commitment. So Joshua blessed him. What else are you going to do to a guy like this. Bless you my son. My 85-year-old child. Bless you. And he gave Hebron to Caleb. I love the area of Hebron. The son of Jephunneh an inheritance. Hebron, therefore became the inheritance of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord.
Now, there's a couple of little things I want you to know about this man Caleb. You've noticed them. I'll just show you, remind you. Here's a guy who didn't live in the past. He respected the past, he learned from the past, but he didn't live in the past. He's ready for a whole new adventure. He didn't get stuck in the past. Even though 45 years have passed. Even though he had a wander with the rest of those knuckleheads out in the desert. He's finally here, he's 85, and this is a whole new adventure.
Some Christians-- some of us-- some of us get stuck in the past. What do I mean by that? When we talk about our Christian experience, it's a past tense. I remember when I was 19, and I did this, and I did that, and I serve the Lord here and there. OK, now that you're 39, what's new. What's happening now? What's God showing you now? If your Christian experience is always in the past tense something is wrong, because we serve a living God. He's up to stuff. He does stuff.
And he did stuff in the past, but he's doing stuff right now. I just want to find out what it is. Don't you? And kind of go along with them. Find out what God's doing and move with him. So he's not stuck in the past and-- this happens in churches. This happens in movements. The Jesus movement. I'm proud to say I was a part of that revival that swept the Western coast of California, and all these crazy people like me and others were getting saved.
And it was glorious. It was a true revival. You could not fit any more people into our church. They were standing up around for almost all the surfaces. It was a true revival. But some of us in the Jesus movement are always talking about the Jesus movement. Oh the Jesus movement-- oh man that was all-- hello Jesus is still moving. He didn't like stop moving or move somewhere else. Find out what he wants to do, and let's say, can I go along.
So he is not stuck in the past. I love that about him. Second, what I want you to see as we're bringing this to a close is how this old man viewed himself. He's 85. He didn't come with his head down going, you know I'm 85 I'm kind of useless. Are you kidding? A dude who has followed the Lord his whole life, wholly followed Lord, and he's 85, you've got something to say. You've got something to invest. We want to hear from-- you're a mentor. And our culture is doing a disservice to older generations, by marginalizing them, and now it's only about the young and the fast.
And if we do that in the church, we rob ourselves from what we could glean from the years of experience of older saints. Now I'm saying that now that I'm becoming an older saint. But he's not useless. And the name of Hebron, formerly was Kiriath-arba, for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. He-- this old guy took it. Then the land had rest from war.
So believe it or not, I came here to night thinking that I was going to make it through chapter 16. I had four chapters in my head. Hey, we did two. Come on let's hear a little happiness. OK so next week we begin with the tribe of Judah who's been sort of waiting around for Joshua to give land to them, but Caleb interrupted, but now they're still waiting around, and the land will go to them. And what a glorious piece of real estate it is. For a couple of very important reasons, the least is not that Jerusalem is there.
So we'll get to that next time. Lord willing. If there is a next time. The Lord could come back between now and next week. Do you know that? But if he doesn't, we'll see you here.
Father, thank you for your grace that you pour out. Your glory that is revealed in some of these salty men and women of faith. Who show up among this huge population of the people who would settle from the tribe of Judah. Comes this man who completely totally wholly follow the Lord. And we hear the authority in his voice. We hear the power of faith in his voice.
Because here is a man who was given a promise by Moses 45 years before from the authority of God. And here's a man who believed a promise for 45 years. He didn't see it fulfilled for 45 years. 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, 45 years in wait. He never saw the fulfillment, but he held onto it. He believed someday it's going to happen.
And I pray, Lord for those who are discouraged, because some of the promises they're holding onto have not been fulfilled. Encourage them that you're all about the right time, as well as the right thing, the right happening. So Father, I just pray for brothers and sisters of this tribe. And I pray, Lord you would strengthen their knees, the hands that hang down, as the writer of Hebrews would describe discouragement, put a spring back in their step. And as we sing this final song, making much of the Lord Jesus Christ in our worship, elevate us to the place. Realizing he's in charge. He's brought us here. He has promises yet for us to realize. We ask these things in Jesus' name, amen.
For more resources from Calvary Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig visit calvaryabq.org.
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