I Want That Mountain
by Kim Larsen
Joshua 14:11,12 says,” 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 coming in. 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.”
Caleb is reminding Joshua of the promise then made as the reward of his faithfulness (Josh 14:9) Hebron was the seat of the dreaded Anakim, whose formidable appearance had so terrified the spies, and through them destroyed the courage of all Israel. This, above all others, was the place which Caleb, trusting in the strength of God, chose for his inheritance.
There are a couple of things that really stick out in my mind in this story. I’m sure you remember the this event just before the Israelites were about to enter into the promised land, the Lord sent in 12 men, one from each tribe, to scout out the land to see what lay ahead. Caleb was selected from the tribe of Judah. He was 40 years old at this point. You will remember that these spies split up and covered the land and then after 40 days returned to give a report. All of the men agreed that the land was flowing with milk and honey but the people that lived there were very large. Ten of the spies were fearful and gave a negative report. Caleb and Joshua quieted the people and said, Let us go up at once and take possession for we are well able to overcome it.” I like Caleb’s attitude. He had faith that God would help them take the land! He was not afraid! Long story short, the people did not follow Caleb and Joshua, because of this God sent them back into the wilderness for another 40 years, a complete generation . All of the people who had refused to trust the Lord perished in the wilderness. Because of the size of this group of people, they would have had to bury 75 people each day!
Fast forward 40 years, Caleb and Joshua are the only men left of their generation. They are now 85 years old, they are brought back to the border of the promised land and now under the leadership of Joshua they enter the promised land. Now, the land needs to be divided among the tribes . Faithful Caleb still wants the Mountain where the giants live, the mountain that was promised to him. He is still willing with God’s help to drive the enormous Sons of Anak out of Hebron, and he does!
Another interesting thing I found while researching this was that Caleb was a descendant from Esau. He wasn’t even a Jew, he was a gentile. He is described in I Chronicles as Caleb, the son of Jephunneh the Kennizite. These were sons of Esau related to the Edomites who were enemies. Somewhere along the way he was adopted into the tribe of Judah and by the time he was chosen to go into Kadesh Barnes he was a leader of his tribe.
Isn’t the God we serve amazing? He rewards faithfulness. Caleb is a great example for us. Anything can be accomplished with a positive attitude and with God at our side!