Josh 14:14               An Inheritance Unto This Day                             7/29/2012     

·        Caleb (Josh 14:6-15, John 14:23, Rom 4:13)

 

 

 

 

#1.       He Wholly Followed the Lord (Josh 14:9,14, Rom 9:11-16, Eph 2:8-9, Ecc 7:20)

 

 

 

 

·        The Spiritual Application (Ecc 7:20, Rom 4:8, 1John 3:4, Rom 7:4-6)

 

 

 

 

#2.       The Law and the Gospel (John 14:21, Rom 8:2, Mic 7:18, Rom 3:31)

 

 

 

 

·        Faith (Rom 5:5, 8:28, Eph 2:8, Heb 11:1)

 

 

 

 

#3.       The Law Brings a Curse (Rom 4:8,15, 5:13-14, Gal 3:10, John 8:36, Gal 3:13, Rom 9:11-16)

 

 

 

 

·        The Gospel in a Nutshell (Eph 1:4, Rom 8:30, 4:25, Eph 2:3)

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Joshua, Josh 14:6 (2X). At this point in the Prophecy of Joshua we are done with the battles against the Canaanites. All that remains is the distribution of the land to the twelve tribes of Israel. I am saying the twelve tribes, because the thirteenth tribe, the tribe of Levi did not receive land as their inheritance; the Lord God of Israel was their inheritance. There are two principles we need to keep in mind when we study this chapter. First of all, we need to keep the whole Bible coherent; there may not be any contradictions wherever we look, for God does not lie. Therefore, when we see an apparent contradiction in the Bible it is due to our inability to understand what God has in view. Secondly, we are not considering the Bible as a history book. It is true that the history in the Bible should be believed literally, but it was not God’s intention to make history the main goal of the Bible; rather the Bible was written to change the souls of some of mankind, and so we need to see the spiritual meaning of the passage in question. We read in Josh 14:6-15 about Caleb. Remember Joshua and Caleb, two of the twelve spies who were sent out by Moses, and who were the only ones who brought an encouraging word to the children of Israel.

·        Caleb (Josh 14:6-15, John 14:23, Rom 4:13)

“Josh 14:6  Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea. 7  Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. 8  Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God. 9  And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s forever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God. 10  And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. 11  As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. 12  Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said. 13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. 14  Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel. 15  And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.”

The title of this sermon is An Inheritance Unto This Day.” What I am referring to was written in

verses 9 and 14. In verse 9 we read the three expressions, “inheritance”, and “forever”, and “wholly followed the Lord”. In verse 14 we read the same three expressions “inheritance”, and “unto this day” which is equivalent to “forever”, and “wholly followed the Lord”. What does the expression “unto this day” mean? It means unto this day, which is today; and it also applies to tomorrow, for tomorrow it still means unto this day; and it applies to next year, for next year it still means unto this day; and it also applies to the last day of this earth, for on that last day it still means unto this day. Therefore, “unto this day” is almost synonymous with “forever”. What is it that God promised as being “forever” and “unto this day”? It is the “inheritance.” This is made clear to us in verses 9 and 14. But what was promised to Caleb as an inheritance forever”? Is it the land of Canaan? No, that cannot be, for this earth will be destroyed in a great fireball. It was never the intent of God to promise the literal land of Canaan as an end goal in itself. The land of Canaan was a symbol of the Kingdom of God on this earth. What does this mean? When we enter the Kingdom of God on this earth we have entered into salvation, for the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom where God dwells. The Lord Jesus said in John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and WE will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” This means that the literal land of Canaan was only a symbol, or a shadow, of the Kingdom of God. That is why Abraham also realized that it was not the literal land of Canaan that God promised him, but it was the eternal inheritance in the New Heaven and the New Earth that was really the promise to Abraham. We read that in Rom 4:13, “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” And so, we understand that the promise made to Abraham and to Caleb was not the promise of the land of Canaan, but it was the promise of salvation, for only then will they receive citizenship in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

#1.       He Wholly Followed the Lord (Josh 14:9,14, Rom 9:11-16, Eph 2:8-9, Ecc 7:20)

Now, let us take the next step. Was the promise to Caleb a reward for him wholly following the Lord? That is apparently what we read here in Josh 14:9 and in verse 14. In other words, was the promise of salvation given to Caleb a reward for following the Lord? In other words, was Caleb in full control of his own salvation? Apparently he was in full control of his inheritance in the New Heaven and the New Earth by completely following the Lord. Is this possible? No, this is not possible. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 9:11 (2X). The age old question is: Who is in control? If God is in control, then God is sovereign. If Caleb was in control, then man is sovereign. Who gets the credit? If God is in control, then God gets all the credit for all His work. If Caleb was in control, then man gets all the credit for his own work. Rom 9:11-16 says concerning Jacob and Esau,

Rom 9:11-16, “11  (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15  For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Clearly God says here that He is in control of the salvation of anyone, for God says, “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”

God says clearly in Rom 9:11-16 that God is in control. God does not lie. We cannot explain two passages in the Bible that are contradicting one another, for then we claim that God does lie. And this fact that God is in control is supported in at least 100 other places in the Bible. This must be the truth, for in this way God receives all the honor and the glory for His work of salvation in us. And so, what is going on with the passage of Josh 14:9 and verse 14? Why did God say that Caleb wholly followed the Lord, and that is why he received this wonderful inheritance. Was the work that Caleb did not sufficient to get him saved? Well, from Rom 9 please move 58 pages to your right, to Eph 2:8 (2X). You see, the Gospel in a nutshell is recorded for us in Eph 2:8-9, and we would do well to keep our interpretations within the boundaries of this summary of the Gospel. We read in Eph 2:8-9,

Eph 2:8-9,  8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.” And notice the strong condemnation of verse 9, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” You cannot be saved by your own works. Anyone who believes that his own works have brought him some spiritual gain will be condemned for his pride. “Not of works”, means “not of man’s works”. The only work that will be appreciated is God’s work, or Christ’s work. And the reason is: Lest any man should boast of the wonderful works he has done for the Lord. Well, there is nothing of that sort that we can boast off. All our works are contaminated by sin. God says in Ecc 7:20, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” There is no one on this earth, not even a just man, who does good works and does not sin. Therefore all our works are contaminated by sin. And thus, in the Biblical sense of the word there is something wrong with the statement from Caleb, that he “wholly followed” the Lord God of Israel. Can anyone say this of himself? And so, we are drawn again to the statements we find in Josh 14:9 and verse 14. Is it possible that God has something else in mind through which these verses are fully true? And that is indeed the case. Let us see the spiritual application of this passage.

·        The Spiritual Application (Ecc 7:20, Rom 4:8, 1John 3:4, Rom 7:4-6)

When we look at Joshua we can see that Joshua is a shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ. His name means Jesus, which means Savior. Joshua led his people out of the cursed land of Moab into the Promised Land by going before them through the Jordan River, which represents death and hell. And God arranged it in such a beautiful way that their entrance into the Promised Land was preceded by the splitting of the waters of Jordan, like God did it 40 years earlier in splitting the waters of the Red Sea. And thus the children of Israel walked on dry ground. Hell did not touch them; like as Christ suffered the equivalent of an eternity in hell when He was crucified, but we walk on dry ground, because we were in Christ and He carried us through that event, and suffered on behalf of our sins in our place. Now look at Caleb. We see that Caleb was Joshua’s faithful dog, like all the saints are represented by the faithful dog of Christ. In fact, the name Caleb means “Dog”. Now let us look at Josh 14 in this spiritual representation. Caleb is a picture of you and me; Caleb is a picture of all the people who are going to be saved. Like as Caleb’s inheritance was “forever”, so our inheritance in the New Heaven and the New Earth is a promise that will endure “forever”. But now we have to deal with the expression, “he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel”. Can this be said of us? Can everything that was said of Caleb also be said of us, the saints in the New Testament period of time? First of all we know that we are born as sinners, deserving hell for our unfaithfulness to Christ and to the law. Then Christ came into the world to save sinners, and He did that by imputing our sins onto His account and paying for those sins the full price that had to be paid. This took place in AD 33 when He finished paying for our sins when He died on the cross. But then, when God the Holy Spirit made us Born Again in our lifetime, meaning He regenerated our soul, God transferred us from being sinners into saints. You can read this anywhere in the Bible, when we have been Born Again we are no longer called sinners, but we are called saints. Do the saints still sin? Recall again Ecc 7:10, which says, Ecc 7:20, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Yes the saints still sin. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 4:8 (2X). When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, did He pay for all our sins? Indeed He did; He paid for all our past, present and future sins. In fact, in AD 33 all our sins were still future sins, and He paid them in full. And thus all the sins we are going to commit were already paid, and the moment we commit them they are immediately erased. After we have been Born Again our souls are spotlessly clean and no sins are going to be added to our account. That is why we read in Rom 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” What is sin? Sin is a transgression of the law (1John 3:4). And when Christ died we who are in Christ died with Him, and therefore we are no longer tied with hands and feet to the law of God (Rom 7:4). The law is no longer our enemy, but has become our friend. Let us read this here in Rom 7. Please move forward to Rom 7:4 (2X), and there we read in Rom 7:4-6,

Rom 7:4-6, “4  Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6  But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” You see, we are delivered from the law, which was our accuser before God; but now we serve in the newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

#2.       The Law and the Gospel (John 14:21, Rom 8:2, Mic 7:18, Rom 3:31)

Most people do not know what the New Testament Gospel is. Most people worship God like the Old Testament people did. They adopt the law as the ultimate authority over them. They will take John 14:21 which says, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” And thus, they conclude: if we do not keep His commandments, we do not love Him, and the wages of sin is death, which will be an eternity in hell. What they unknowingly practice is the law of sin and death. They have put themselves again under the law, whereas Christ has delivered us from the law. Please turn a little further in this Epistle to the Romans, Rom 8:2 (2X). There we read,

Rom 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” There are two laws listed here in Rom 8:2. One is “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”, and the other is “the law of sin and death”. What is the law of sin and death? It is the law that says: “If you sin, to hell you go”. For example, when the Old Testament people were confronted with the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai there were two reactions. One group said, “This is the law of God; if we violate any law in this list we shall be punished with eternal death.” This is the law of sin and death. This was the response of the Scribes and Pharisees at the time that Jesus walked on this earth. But another group said, “We are not able to keep this law perfectly. If we violate any law in this list we are at the mercy of God. And so let us continue to love Him, for He may have mercy on us.” This was the response of David who committed adultery and murder, but who trusted that God will be merciful on him. The response of David was more like the response of a New Testament saint who believed that the Lord Jesus Christ has made us free from the law of sin and death. God is incredibly merciful, for He delights in mercy. We read in Mic 7:18, “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy.” Certainly we want to love the Lord Jesus. But the goal of keeping His commandments is not in order that we love Him. Instead, if we love Him then we will keep His commandments, for this is what we delight to do. Allow me to say it another way: We do not keep His commandments because we have to, but because we want to; and we want to because we love Him. This does not mean that we can ignore His commandments, for this is a sure sign that we do not love Him. Please turn a few pages back to Rom 3:31 (2X). We can read this more clearly in Rom 3:31, where God says, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” We do not abolish the commandments through our faith that Christ paid it all, instead we delight in the law of God after the inward man. The New Testament Gospel is not a list of do’s and don’ts, but the New Testament Gospel is that God looks upon the hearts of people, and God judges us based on what He sees in the hearts of His saints. No longer does God treat us like little children who need precise instructions on what to do and what not to do, but God treats us like adults who now can think for themselves and who can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. And foremost in this practice of thinking for ourselves is the matter of FAITH.

·        Faith (Rom 5:5, 8:28, Eph 2:8, Heb 11:1)

Faith is a gift from God. We cannot conjure up some faith toward those things that we read in the Bible, and we cannot present this faith to God, for anything we do is contaminated with sin. And so, anything we want to offer to God must have been given by God. For example, our prayers are given to us by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and our love for Christ and for our fellow man has been given to us by the Holy Spirit, for God says in Rom 5:5, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” In fact when we realize the meaning of Rom 8:28 we see that all things around us and within us have been given to us by the providence of God through His Holy Spirit. Rom 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” And so, all things that have been gifts from God we can offer to Him in faith. What is the purpose of this faith? Through the faith that has been given by God we can examine if we are in the faith. Remember Eph 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Our faith is not of ourselves, it is a gift from God. Make sure that it is not a faith that you conjured up yourselves because you did not want to go to hell. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, but it is not the ultimate end; it is only the beginning of the process that may lead unto salvation. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 11:1 (2X). When we examine ourselves we want to know if we are in the faith. How can we know if we are in the faith? We can know it if we consider the faith that God has given us and what effect it has had on our love for the brethren. We read in Heb 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” What were the things we hoped for? We hoped that we would be children of God. Well, our faith is the substance, the manifestation, of what we hoped for. We hoped that we truly have been saved, and here is the proof. And what is the evidence of things not seen? What is not seen? Our salvation is not seen. But here we read that faith is the evidence of that which we did not see on the outside. When Christ saved us He saved us in our soul, but we still live in the same body that we had before our salvation. And so, when we examine ourselves we ask ourselves where we were in the faith some time ago, and where we are now. Do we see some change? Do we see where we came from? Can we see the progress we have made over the years? And can we see the evidence in having the love of God that is shed abroad in our hearts to love Christ and to love the brethren?

#3.       The Law Brings a Curse (Rom 4:8,15, 5:13-14, Gal 3:10, John 8:36, Gal 3:13, Rom 9:11-16)

    Let us now return to Caleb, the faithful dog, and let us return to Rom 4:8, for this is a crucial verse in the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. . Caleb was a saint in the eyes of God, and the evidence that he was a saint was that he had a very strong faith. He believed what God said through the mouth of Moses. Caleb was a picture of everyone who becomes saved by the grace of God. And so, if Caleb was saved as any saint of God is saved today, what can we say that Christ did for Caleb? Christ paid for all the sins of Caleb. There is not one sin left that has to be paid. If Caleb said in the confidence of his heart that “he wholly followed the Lord”, that is really true, for God said in Rom 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” This is what God said of every saint, and that is why I could continue with Caleb as a picture of every saint of God. After he became Born Again there was no sin that could be attached to Caleb. Indeed he wholly followed the Lord. There was no more sin in the life of Caleb, even though he did not live a perfect life, and even though he did sin in his life. But his sins were not recorded in God’s sight. His sins were completely erased the moment he sinned. That is why we are called saints even though we still sin until the last day of our life. We receive this blessed condition by the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This truth of Rom 4:8 is not the only place in the Bible where this is recorded. For example, please turn to Rom 4:15, where we read,

Rom 4:15, “Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” This speaks of our blessed condition that we are separated from the law of God, for where no law is there is no transgression. The law does not rule over us any more. Even Adam and Eve were subject to the law of God, for to them the law was, “Thou shalt not eat of the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” And thus sin and death reigned from Adam to Moses. (Rom 5:13-14) For until the law (of the Ten Commandments) sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Please move over to your right to the Epistle to the Galatians, Gal 3:10. In the Epistle to the Galatians God speaks of the curse of the law, and how we have been delivered from the curse of the law through Christ’s death, for we have died with Christ. Gal 3:10, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” However there are no people who can continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, for the moment we come into the world God declares us liars. Therefore the law brings a curse, and only by the death of Christ can we be delivered from the law. The Lord Jesus said, in John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” And we find in Gal 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” The law is holy and good, and I delight in the law of the Lord, but when the law comes to rule over us and to make us subjects of the law, then the law brings a curse. The curse is that the law requires perfection, and if the law rules over us then our imperfection causes us to be condemned by the law. Therefore we do not look forward to a just God, a righteous Judge, but we look forward to a merciful God, a Savior who delights in mercy. This is what Caleb has found, and this is why he could say that he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. Let us now combine this information with what we found in Rom 9:11-16, and see how we have arrived at a harmonious Gospel message.

·        The Gospel in a Nutshell (Eph 1:4, Rom 8:30, 4:25, Eph 2:3)

Since God is in control of everything, it is God who has to make the decision whom He will save. Therefore, we read in Eph 1:4, “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:” Since salvation is all by grace and not by our works it must be God who makes the decision, for none of our works is able to tip the scales one way or another. And since God has chosen us in Christ, it means that we were in Christ before the foundation of the world, and we were in Christ when He was crucified, and we were in Christ when He died, and we were in Christ when He was buried, and we were in Christ when He rose from the tomb, and we were in Christ when He ascended into heaven, and we still are in Christ when He is seated on the right hand of the Father. This explains that we have been glorified with Him. God says in Rom 8:30, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” We have been justified in the sight of God already before we were born, and before we were Born Again, before we were regenerated in our soul, for God says in Rom 4:25, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” This took place in AD 33, long before we were born. Therefore, when we read in Eph 2:3 that we were by nature the children of wrath, we must especially notice that we were by nature the children of wrath, but God had mercy on us and He chose to love us before we were born into the world. His love manifested itself in His commitment to pay the penalty for our sins in full, because we were too impoverished to pay such a great price. Therefore, since our sins have been paid in full, the elect are guaranteed to inherit the New Heaven and the New Earth. In Josh 14 this is expressed in the promise to Caleb that he will inherit Hebron unto this day, which actually means “forever”. This promise is given to all the saints, who are saints because they are all those for whom Christ died, and all those for whom Christ died have been chosen from before the foundation of the world. This is the Gospel, for this is the pattern by which the whole Bible makes one harmonious whole. We cannot improve on the plan of God, for God chose the wisest plan from all possible options. Praise God that He included us into His plans, and praise God that He sent God the Son into the world to unite with the Son of Mary into one harmonious unit.

AMEN.                  Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.