Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 23 Number 5 May 2021
Page 13

Caleb: A Man of Courage

Therman Hodge


  1. Caleb was one of the heroes of Israel.
  2. He had the faith and courage to obey God to his fullest ability.
  3. He is first mentioned in Numbers 6 as the representative of the tribe of Judah to spy out the promised land and bring back a report.
  4. Each one had to be a leader in his tribe.
  5. Caleb was truly a courageous leader.

I. Moses sent the spies into Canaan (Numbers 13:18-20).

A. Moses gave the spies a specific assignment.

1. Their assignment was not to determine if they could conquer the land.
2. God had already made that determination.

B. Moses encouraged the spies to be of good courage.

1. Instead, ten of the spies brought back an attitude of fear.
2. The “people are strong.”
3. The “cities are fortified.”
4. There are giants in the land that made us feel like grasshoppers in their sight.

II. Caleb made a fervent appeal (Numbers 13:30-33).

A. Unfortunately, the majority of the spies influenced the people, and they were afraid to enter the land, even though God had already given it to the Israelites (Numbers 13:2).

1. Only Caleb and Joshua stood firm in their encouragement and insistence that with God’s help and power they could take the land.
2. Caleb sensed the uneasiness of the people as they listened to the reports of the ten spies.
3. Caleb, with a different voice, calm and with confidence, attempted to overcome their fears.
4. It was the faith and courage of Caleb contrasted to the lack of faith and courage of the ten other spies.

B. Caleb’s life demonstrated courage and faith in God.

1. Unlike the ten, he was not controlled by fear of the Canaanites.
2. He was a can-do person.
3. He saw the same things that the others saw, but he knew that faith meant to step out and see what God can do.

C. Caleb and Joshua were men relying on God, urging the people to take the land.

III. A lack of faith brings destruction, whereas instead, loyalty brings reward (Numbers 14:1-10).

A. Caleb and Joshua were threatened with stoning because they insisted the Israelites could take the land.

1. The people’s problem was not a problem of strength, but of faith (Hebrews 3:19).

B. God told the Israelites that all those over 20 years old would die in the wilderness (Numbers 14:33-37):

1. Because of their lack of faith and courage,
2. Because of their failure to trust in God,
3. Because of a failure to follow His instructions.

C. The exception to this decree would be Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 14:38).
D. Because of his faith and courage Caleb was given a special reward (Numbers 14:24).

IV. Faithful obedience to the law of right and justice brings the highest praise that can be bestowed upon a person.

A. Such service always attains the richest reward for time and eternity.
B. This principle of fidelity to God should govern us in the small affairs of life as well as in the larger ones.
C. It is only by adhering to this principle, as well illustrated by Caleb, that true men and women are made.


  1. Caleb claimed his reward, which God through Moses had promised him (Joshua 14:6-13).
  2. Christians need to know and remember the promises of God.
  3. Caleb realized that there was much to do to occupy the land. He realized that just because God had promised it to him did not mean that he would not have to fight and work for it.
  4. Christians, just as Caleb, must depend on God for the source of their courage.
  5. Caleb remained faithful during the 40 years in the wilderness, just as Christians must remain faithful throughout their lives (Revelation 2:10b).
  6. We today must remember that God is on our side and that we must not get the grasshopper complex as the ten spies did. Obviously, they forgot God.

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