Joshua 14:6-13 (NKJV)
6 Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea.
7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart.
8 Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God.
9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’
10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old.
11 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 for coming in.
12 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.”
13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance.
It had been 45 years since Caleb had received a promise from God through Moses and since he was fighting alongside his brothers to conquer Canaan, so that every tribe of Israel would settle down. In all these years, Caleb was focused on one thing: God had told him, personally, that He will give him Hebron; and this had to happen! Step by step, each enemy was defeated and every inch of the land was conquered, for God was the One who fought for Israel. He had given a general promise to the Jewish people, but to Caleb, He gave a specific, living, very strong word – a rhema word. A rhema word that he believed, received, thought of, “fed” with, placing it in the center of his being, confidently awaiting its fulfillment in the visible world. When he claims his inheritance, Caleb mentions ‘that day’ four times, because it had been so intense, marking him forever, that he stopped ‘that day’ like the sun above Gibeon at Joshua’s command!
This specific promise was directly related to his fate and that of his descendants; it was something related to life and death because those who did not believe God’s words died traveling through the wilderness. Faith in the living word received from God was so strong in Caleb that I believe it energized him, kept him strong and vigorous even at 85 (the first 40 years of his life, he spent traveling through the desert with his parents, and the next 45 for years they were marked by war!). He had a mission, he knew he had to get to a place that belonged to him. Mentally he could not conceive otherwise. God promised, so it had to be, and he vibrated with power and life knowing that one day, he would see with his natural eyes everything he already ‘saw’ in his spirit. The image of the blessing was already outlined by the creativity stirred in him by God’s words, “The Lord will be with me, so I will do what God has promised to do” (Joshua 14:12, paraphrased).
Caleb knew that Hebron was a precious place in the history of the patriarchs of the Jewish people: there Abraham pitched his tent when he parted ways with Lot and built an altar to the Lord (Gen. 13:18); there was the place when three man (God’s angels) came to Abraham and told him that they would destroy Sodom, and they promised that in a year’s time, Sarah would give birth to Abraham’s long-awaited son (Gen. 18: 1-15), Isaac also lived there (Gen. 35:27), and “Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah,” were buried in the cave of Mahpelah, which is east of Mamre, which is Hebron in the land of Canaan” (Gen. 49:31). Truly a special place for a special man! Caleb knew the value of such an inheritance and from the day he entered Hebron (Numbers 13:22), that territory was already his by faith and the decision about the sons of Anak was already decreed. The rest was just a matter of time, according to God’s plan and will. “And they gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had said. Then he expelled from there the three sons of Anak” (Judges 1:20, NKJV).
Caleb lived in the Old Testament, when people could only draw close to God if their deeds were good, while communication with Him was only through the prophets. Today, because of Christ’s sacrifice, we can have a relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, through which we speak to Him and He speaks to us, because we have been chosen by grace as heirs (Ephesians 1:11). This divine inheritance is very comprehensive and Christians say by faith that “all the promises of God are YES and AMEN” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
All Scripture is the absolute Truth, the logos – the written word – the general revelation for all people, but rhema is the prophetic word through the Holy Spirit, spoken and revealed especially to those who have a personal relationship with the Father. People who sincerely believe in the logos can easily receive the words rhema, because the two always validate each other and have the same Source. The word rhema changes your mindset, it brings joy, enthusiasm and confidence because it comes directly from the mouth of God and it is only yours! “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life,” the Lord Jesus tells us in John 6:63.
Maybe you have received such a divine word and you are wondering like Mary, “How can this happen?” (Luke 1:34). What has been promised to you is humanly impossible, it is like a dream, but so is our God, what He says is based on the measure of His power and not on our ability to do anything! He begins, He continues, and He also brings it to a good end through the Holy Spirit, who dwells in the believer. The Word of God is placed at the center of our personality, in the heart, like a seed. There, it grows, matures, becoming a vision and a conception that always speaks and rebukes the visible world as a lie that tries to contradict the work of God. We do not deny the visible reality, but we subject it to a higher reality of a spiritual nature, so that we focus our attention on what is bigger, stronger, and more important than what we see with our natural eyes. A son or daughter of God learns to see, perceive, discern, comment, and value the factors and events of life differently than other people, because the filter of Scripture and the Holy Spirit are defining.
Despite the difficult times of doubt and discouragement, when nothing seems to move, or we are weakened and doubting His promises, because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we live in times of grace when the Holy Spirit reminds us, refreshes us, and grows us in faith. Dependence on Him is a sign of spiritual maturity, trust does not lie in our faithfulness to Him, but in His faithfulness to us! God is the faithful One, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
“Now to Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a share among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the Lord to Joshua, namely, Kiriath Arba, which is Hebron (Arba was the father of Anak).” (Joshua 15: 13, NKJV), “Let it be to me according to your word!” says Mary (Luke 1:38), “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord” says Elizabeth (Luke 1:45), and in Romans 4:18 we are reminded of Abraham that “in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
“I am what the Word says I am in Christ, I have what the Word says I have in Christ, I can do whatever the Word says I can do in Christ, and whatever the Lord gives me belongs to me,” say the verses of a Christian song.
Those who receive, through the Spirit, specific words for their life, whether short-term, daily, or long-term, related to calling, destiny, gifts, or ministry, can confidently say, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts ”(Zechariah 4:6).