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Leading Question: How does one stand for the Lord when everyone else falls away?

Key Passages:

  • Numbers 13-14, From twelve spies down to two, Caleb and Joshua
  • Joshua 14, Caleb asks for the toughest part of Canaan
  • Judges 1:12-15, Caleb gives his daughter to the bravest warrior

Questions:

  1. Going against the flow. When Caleb and Joshua returned with the rest of the spies, they tried but failed to break the popular tide against moving ahead. How much should we attempt to counteract popular feeling? In the Church? In culture?
  2. Fickle people. When God said go, the people said they wouldn”t. When God said to stay, the people said they would go anyway. Typically we don”t have specific and audible voices telling us whether to go or stay, at least not from God or from credentialed prophetic voices. But are we in danger of being equally fickle when we “know” we should go or not go?
  3. Give me the hill country. Even when Caleb was old, he was still asking for the hard challenges. What is the inspirational value of someone who tackles the tough stuff? Can we help to inspire others when we take on a hard challenge?
  4. I”ll give my daughter to the bravest man! Caleb”s management style is several steps removed from the way most modern westerners would respond to similar challenge. Where in the world would it be appropriate today to give your daughter as a reward to the bravest man?

Note: A biblical perspective on incest. From a modern perspective, incest is wrong, even criminal, for two reasons: 1) Coercive sexual relations that take advantage of familial ties; 2) The potential for genetic complications. The Bible itself doesn”t mention either of these “modern” reasons, but simply lists certain prohibited relationships. In this week”s lesson, Caleb gave his daughter Achsah to Othniel his younger brother as a sister. In other words, Othniel married his niece. That particular relationship is not prohibited in the catalogs of Leviticus 18 and Lev 20, but some of the prohibited relationships listed there were indeed exemplified among the forebears of those who came out of Egypt. The two most notable examples would be Abraham marrying his sister, his father”s daughter (Gen 20:12; but cf. Lev 18:9) and Amram marrying his father”s sister (Exo 6:20; but cf. Lev 18:12). Even more striking is the tension between the laws that prohibit a man from having relations with his brother”s sister (Lev 18:16), but mandate such a relationship if the brother dies childless. The provisions of that “Levirate marriage law” [law of the husband”s brother] are spelled out in Deut 25:5-10.

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