Joshua 14: Delayed Blessings

Read: Joshua 14

Caleb was one of the two spies that went into Canaan after the Israelites had left Egypt. He alongside Joshua was one of the two people that believed that they could take the land that had been promised to them. For their faith, they were the only Israelites that left Egypt that lived to see Israel enter the Promised Land. (Numbers 13, 14). Israel spent 40 years wondering in the desert and now, after some years of conquest, he was 85 years old. Joshua remembered Caleb and for his inheritance, Caleb received the city of Hebron.  Caleb inheritance is noteworthy because Caleb and his family were initially an independent tribe living in the Negev, a desert region in southern Palestine (1 Samuel 30:14). Some of the descendants of Caleb are referred to as “Calebites” noting there ancestry albeit they were absorbed by the tribe of Judah and Caleb was the son of Kenaz, a tribe associated not with Israel but with Edom.  It would be unusual for an outsider to receive such an inheritance because Caleb had no real claim to a birthright. But Caleb didn’t receive his inheritance by birthright; rather he received it because he followed the Lord through all his years.

The New Testament speaks of the blessings of faithful service: The beatitudes of Jesus in Matthew 5:1-12 speak of many different conditions, each with a blessing that comes from that condition. The New Testament also speaks of four “crowns” First there is a “crown of righteousness” mentioned by Paul that is receive by those who live a righteous life (2 Timothy 4:6-9). Second, there is a “crown of life” that comes from one persevering under trial (James 1:12). Third, there is an “incorruptible crown”. Paul says this crown is received for preaching the gospel and living according to it. It is received because he practices what he preaches, saying the rules and not disqualifying himself by obeying the rules (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). Fourth, there is a “crown of glory” that comes from rightly shepherding a flock (1 Peter 5:1-4). Ultimately the crowns that are received for faithful service will be cast before Jesus as an act of worship because all the glory, honor, and power belong to Jesus (Revelation 4:9-11).

Caleb, although he was an outsider, believed in the God if Israel. He did not receive the blessing immediately – it took 45 years and it still was not completely his until he conquered Hebron. Like Caleb and Paul, faith that spurs on obedience has its reward. The rewards that are given are eternal rewards that will ultimately bring more glory to Jesus and may or may not be seen until one meets Jesus face to face.

Lord, help me to be faithful to you even when the blessings are not apparent!

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