April 16: “A Story of Passion and Conquest”

6 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

Joshua 13:1-14:15
Luke 18:1-17
Psalm 85:1-13
Proverbs 13:7-8

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Joshua 14:12 (NLT): “So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

I have some ‘favorite’ Bible stories, and Joshua 14:6-15 is definitely one of them!

In our mind’s eye, we see an 85-year-old man step into Joshua’s presence. His name was Caleb. Those two men were special. They were the only 2 spies (out of the 12 that Moses sent into the Promised Land) who came back with a positive, faith-filled report. The other 10 men expressed doubt that the Israelites could conquer the Promised Land. But Joshua and Caleb firmly believed that God could be counted on to do what He promised (see Numbers 13:26-33).

The Israelites believed the 10 faithless spies and rejected Joshua and Caleb’s words. That one act doomed the nation of Israel to spend the next 40 years walking in circles in the desert. 

Now, in Joshua 14, Joshua and Caleb are the oldest of all the Israelites, and they have seen God conquer most of the Promised Land through them just like He said he would.

But, there’s one particular area that was still a splinter in Israel’s eye. It hadn’t been conquered yet. It was the area where the Anakim lived – the people who were so tall that they made the Israelites feel like ‘grasshoppers’ (see Numbers 13:28-29, 33Joshua 14:12). The 10 spies used those particular people as an excuse to doubt God’s promise.

Well, for 45 years, that act of faithlessness had turned Caleb’s stomach. He knew God would have given the Israelites victory, but they doubted and were, therefore, put on the shelf of ‘do-nothing’ until they learned their lesson.

So, Caleb approached Joshua and asked specifically for the land where the Anakim still lived. He wanted to kick some Anakim booty to vindicate God’s name. Caleb believed that God’s glory was diminished among the Israelites when they doubted that He could do what He said He would do. So, Caleb wanted to show that an 85-year-old man with a promise from God could do what a whole Israelite army didn’t think He could do.

Well, did Caleb succeed? Did he let the Anakim know that the God in Heaven could do whatever He pleased?

Knowing that Caleb had a fire in his eyes, was jealous for God’s glory, and wasn’t going to back down from the fight, all we need to do is read the last sentence of this story…

Joshua 14:15 (NLT): “…And the land had rest from war.”

I can picture Caleb sitting under a shade tree drinking a cold glass of tea and, with a broad smile and a twinkle in his eye, saying under his breath: “I knew God could do it!”

Are you a person filled with faith and passion? All you need to do is ask God to develop within you a jealousy for His glory. Find some precious promises of God that He has given to you. And then engage in spiritual warfare against our satanic foe.

We NEED people like Caleb in our spiritually apathetic days!


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Posted by

I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s