1. Seven Lessons from the Life of Caleb
album cover

This website, like every other, is presently "under construction". For now, I will simply reproduce the the liner notes from the CD, and provide the lyrics to those songs that have them. With that...

What do you do with a word from the Lord? The story of Caleb is the story of answering that question. The story of this project is also the story of answering that question. It was a word from the Lord that led me to look into Caleb’s story, and it was Caleb’s story that has shaped the music that is here. There are stories I could tell about each of the songs that are presented here, stories about their origins, stories about their realization. However, the story I want them to relay is Caleb’s story.

Where's Caleb?

This was the word God had for me, and it came without any immediate explanation. Just the question, “Where’s Caleb? Where’s Joshua?” It wasn’t until days later that I began to understand what He was getting at. God is looking for Calebs and Joshuas. He sees His children standing at the edge of Canaan once again, looking, but afraid to go in. It is a Canaan we have abandoned to the enemy and his despair. Like the spies that went along with Joshua and Caleb, we see giants. Joshua and Caleb were not blind. They could see the giants as well as the others. They didn’t deny the truth of conditions. They laid hold of the truth of God. God had promised the land. Conditions couldn’t change His promise! That truth remains unchanged in our time.

It was Caleb, not Joshua, who spoke up when everyone else was speaking their fears (Numbers 13:30). Yet, he is just an ordinary man. What sets him apart? God tells you. Caleb had a different spirit (Numbers 14:24). He followed God fully. His trust was complete. His obedience to God’s will was absolute. If God had said it, it was settled. No further questions need be asked. “We should by all means go up and take possession of the land.” Hear the confession of one with a different spirit. He faced giants, but he knew this: “God will bring us into this land , and give it to us. As for those you fear, they shall be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them” (Number 14:8-9). Yes, they are giants. Yes, they have fortresses of stone. But, it doesn’t matter. The protections of size and strength have been removed, for God is with us! Numbers don’t matter a great deal to God. Weapons and fortresses don’t matter a great deal to God. If faith can move mountains, a fortress is nothing.


On the verge of a promise, we were on the edge of the land.
Two said "Go in," but ten said "stay out,"
And the people chose the sand.

Caleb had a different spirit, to do all My command.
So, everywhere his foot treads,
I'm giving him that land.

Forty long years we wandered before Joshua led us in.
Seven times 'round at Jericho,
But at Ai we had to battle sin.

                                 Where's Caleb?

Giants in the land of promise, see their stronghold up on the hill.
Giants in the land of promise;
Is the Lord God with us still?

                                 Where's Caleb?

Only be strong and courageous;
There's no reason to fear.
All their protection's been taken
By the same God who brought us here!

Joshua, remember what the Lord God said:
He said the land would be ours wherever I tread.
Let me tread there!       Let me tread there!
Let me tread there!       Watch the enemy fall!

Abandoned Fields

This is the first thing God gave me to understand, the first answer to why He asked the question. We have abandoned the land, rather than taken the land. The state of the world today is as it is because we have chosen to leave the battle. Now we look into a Canaan of education, of philosophy, of science and of art, and we don’t even consider the possibility that we could hope to reclaim the land. We have abandoned the battlefield. We have decided to leave Canaan to the Canaanites, because they are too big for us. In the midst of this, I hear my God asking, “Where is Joshua, where is Caleb?” Who is the one who will go into the fields of modern thought and reclaim them for the name of the Lord? Where are the ones who will carry His banner proudly into the very camps of the enemy, and reclaim what was ours?

There was a time when Christianity informed education, the sciences and the arts. Colleges were started with the purpose of training intelligent ministers and missionaries to carry the Word of Life forward. Scientists were confident of finding order in the universe because of the Creator who had established it. The arts celebrated what was truly beautiful.

Now? Seminaries and colleges preach unbelief. Rather than fight for our heritage, we call them evil and withdraw. Amoral scientists labor to disprove God and set themselves up as the arbiters of morality. Rather than reasserting the role of theology as the moral compass, we settle for declaring science evil, and abandon the field. The arts celebrate the ugly and the perverse and insist we call it beautiful. Rather than displaying the true beauty of God to counter this trend, we declare the arts lost. The battle has not been lost. We just walked away. Why have we abandoned the field? Where’s Caleb?

If we are going to take the land once again, rather than abandon the field of battle entirely, then we must stop settling for our own Christian black market economy of the mind, and return to the front lines. We must stop trying to make the Church look like the world, and start reclaiming the hearts and minds of the world by reminding them of what they know down deep is truly Good, truly Beautiful, truly worthy of all praise.


Caleb believed. He heard God’s promise, and he confessed God’s promise. Still, the conquest would have to wait. The counsel of lesser minds had prevailed. Caleb, however, now had another promise to add to what he already believed. This one was for him. Hear that promise. “Caleb will see the land, and to him and his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he followed the LORD fully” (Deuteronomy 1:36). What a promise! Wherever he walked was as good as his already! How many lay hold of that same promise for themselves today?

We should recall, however, the rest of what that promise entailed. Apart from Joshua and Caleb, there was not another man of that generation who would survive to see the promise fulfilled. Think about that for a minute: a whole generation declared dead on arrival – a lost generation. That generation necessarily includes everybody Caleb grew up with; all his friends, all those he had labored beside under a hot Egyptian sun. all his relatives, all his fellow soldiers, everybody he has ever known. As if that were not enough, he’s going to be right there watching as they all pass away.

Caleb had a different spirit, but he was still human. I can only imagine the sorrow that must have accompanied him through the desert, yet the Spirit within him sustained him. He didn’t spend his hours pining over what must happen. Caleb was a warrior. He took time to practice, to keep himself strong. He took care of the weapons that God had given him with which to fight. He made sure that he would be ready to do battle the instant God called for it. It wasn’t by enjoying a forty year pity party that he was able to say to Joshua, “I may be eighty five years old, but I’m just as ready to fight as I was forty years ago. Send me in.”

Though the promise was bittersweet, still he held to faith. Though the fulfillment tarried, he believed. He would continue to believe until God brought it to pass. The story of Caleb bears out that he wasn’t all that caught up in the personal promise. His focus was still on the original promise. He wasn’t looking out for number one.

He wasn’t terribly concerned with prosperity. He was terribly concerned with God.

Tumblin' The Walls

Jericho may not seem to have much to do with Caleb’s story. You won’t find him mentioned by name as having been involved with that battle, but he was there with ‘all the men of war’ who circled that city daily for six days, and he was there on the seventh. Caleb wasn’t looking for titles or positions. He wasn’t seeking fame and glory. His purpose amongst the army of Israel was the same as his purpose had been as a spy in the land. His purpose was to promote God’s purposes.

Caleb was a warrior. He was also, at this time, at least the second eldest man in Israel. He had lived long enough and well enough to command respect. He had more than earned the right to offer counsel as to how the land should be taken. However, Caleb knew that God’s call upon his life was not to do Joshua’s job. Caleb had his own purpose, and he was perfectly satisfied to serve the purpose God had designed for him.

Trying to serve in somebody else’s role is pouring out energy for no good reason. It may be quite true that there is great need for somebody to do the job. It may be quite true that we don’t see anybody else jumping up to get it done. However, if it’s not our job and we do it anyway, who’s doing our job? God gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as pastors, some as teachers (Ephesians 4:11). He did not design all of us to fill all the positions. We are not interchangeable. We are part of something greater than ourselves.

Caleb understood that. He understood that it was not his purpose to stand at the helm of Israel. It was his purpose, in this moment, to be just one more amongst ‘all the men of war.’ He had been training himself all this time. He had been preparing his armor and his weapons all this time. He had done everything in his power to be ready for this moment. This moment looked quite different from what he had expected, but he walked as he was commanded. If this was the battle plan, he would pursue it with excellence.

Where’s Caleb? He’s in position, still pursuing the purpose of God. He’s determined to see God’s desire fulfilled according to God’s plan.


The people of Israel left Jericho behind them with every reason to celebrate. The stronghold barring the path into the Promised Land lay in ruins. The people were confident, and they went on to Ai in that confidence. If the Lord was going to win battles as He had just done, what could stop them? They hadn’t even had to fight. Just a shout, and those walls had crumbled. These people, who had been giants in the estimation of the previous generation, were shown to be no obstacle at all to God’s promise.

But, sin had entered the camp of Israel. God had not been obeyed in full. One warrior amongst the armies of Israel had taken for himself some of the goods God had said to destroy. The chosen forces went forward in full confidence, but they were repelled. Not only were they repelled, they were routed. Their enemies seemed like giants again.

Hear Joshua’s reaction: “God! Why did You bother bringing us all this way, if You are just going to destroy us now” (Joshua 7:7). Joshua picked up far too much from the habits of his generation. Where’s Caleb? He’s busy imparting his habits to the next generation. He’s setting an example to follow. Some learn too much from those around them. Some are determined to turn their world upside down. Caleb still insists that God be believed. Joshua needed to be reminded of that simple truth.

God is not the problem. God is never the problem. The problem is us. His people steal from Him and still look for His blessings. They insist on their sins, and still expect His benefits.

Caleb must have been reminded of the lost generation, lost to the sin of unbelief. If nobody else was repenting, he was. If nobody else was lamenting this new generation slipping into sin, he was. He knew the cost of sin. How his heart must have shivered at the thought of another generation lost. He had his own sons to consider, now. They were part of that generation. Caleb the father would surely cry out for their rescue. Caleb the warrior would surely fight to see them safe.

Ai Spy

There is a time for lamentation for the sins of God’s people. Then comes the time for action. It is not enough to sorrow for past failures. Sin seeks opportunity to come into our lives. We must be seeking those opportunities as well – and destroying them. It is not enough to cry out about the state of our seminaries, our schools or our culture. If we care about the rising generation, it’s time to do something about those things. It’s time to reclaim the land. It’s about more than government. It’s about hearts and minds. It’s about informing the culture instead of being informed by it.

Sometimes the attack on culture must be made by stealth. People must be drawn outside the walls they have erected against God’s ways before the Gospel can slip in. How do we do this? We have to engage society not on its own terms, but in terms they can understand. There must be something in the offing that can catch their interest. Does this mean we imitate culture? Only in a limited sense. We really ought to be able to offer something better than the culture at large instead of cheap imitation. Art whose beauty is informed by God’s sense of beauty should outshine art whose beauty is only in the eye of the beholder. Sciences and learning informed by an understanding of God and order should outshine science that leans only on the understanding of man. Lives transformed by the Creator God should outshine the lives of those who sit in darkness.

We’ve settled for a Joshua generation. He was a great man of God, but in the end, culture informed him. When some of God’s people decided that the east bank of the Jordan was good enough, he let it go. When things turned south at the gates of Ai, he went with the flow – it’s all God’s fault. God had prepared for that. When Joshua was Moses’ general, fighting against Amalek, God instructed Moses to write a book recording those events, and to have it recited to Joshua. In that moment, Moses built an altar, and called it “The LORD is My Banner” (Exodus 17:14-15). He is the standard under which we fight. There would come a time when Joshua needed reminding. The book was there to be read. Where was Caleb? In time, when Ai was a memory, when Jerusalem had been taken, but still the job was not done, he would come to remind Joshua.

Give It All

The greatest story of Caleb is wrapped up in the city of Hebron. Hebron remained a strong, fortified city, high on a hill and seemingly impervious to attack. The war had gone on for years, now, and still this city stood. It stood as a hindrance in the midst of the inheritance of Judah. Caleb had been faithful to fight, wherever the battle needed to be joined. Now, the time had come. Hebron needed to be dealt with. It was an affront to God’s glory that this stronghold remained in the very heart of the Promise.

Caleb came to remind Joshua of God’s promise. “You know what God said, Joshua. You know He promised me that wherever my foot stepped would be an inheritance forever” (Joshua 14:6-9). This man was eighty-five years old, and still ready to take on the world, just so long as God had his back. He was still just as confident that God did have his back. He didn’t worry about the odds. He admitted that there were giants in that fortified city, but He trusted God. “Perhaps the Lord will be with me” (Joshua 14:12). Perhaps? His faith was in more than the god of perhaps. His faith was in the God of promise.

Nowhere in the account of Hebron is there a mention of any battle? What was the promise, after all? “Where your foot treads is yours.” The battle for Hebron, the city of the giants, was won without any battle whatsoever. “Then the land had rest from war” (Joshua 14:15). Until God’s warrior stood up in His promise, the battle raged. When he once began to stand on the promise God had given him, it was all over! Jesus cried out from the Cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30). That is so much more than a cry of relief that His separation from God and the incredible punishment He had borne on our behalf was finally at an end. That is the Promise that is left to us. When once we begin to stand on the Promise, it’s all over. Whatever trials may come against us, it’s all over. Whatever giants stand in the way, it’s all over. “Their protection has been removed from them” (Numbers 14:9).

The greatest lesson from Caleb’s life, however, still remains. It, too, is connected with Hebron. Like so much of his story, this event barely gets a mention. Caleb won the city of Hebron. It was his inheritance, even as God had promised. There came a time, though, when the sons of Aaron, the priesthood who served in God’s house, needed a land of their own. Of all Aaron’s sons, the sons of Kohath were the first to be provided for, and what place would be given them? In the land of Judah, there was the city of Hebron – Caleb’s city. That city was given to the priests, to the Lord of the priests. Caleb was content to have the villages around that city. It was enough for him to be in the land God had promised (1Chr 6:55-56).

This is the great lesson: Caleb never looked at that promise as a matter of personal gain. He didn’t walk up to those walls because he thought it would be a great place to establish his legacy. He saw God’s purpose in God’s promise. He saw this thing that did not reflect God’s desire, and he set out to put it right. It wasn’t about the inheritance for his family. It was about the welfare of God’s people. If he had insisted on the letter of God’s promise, most of the land of Israel, and most of the Sinai Peninsula, for that matter, were his by right. He’d been walking out there, right along with the rest of two generations. He had been through the Negev. He had been through the hill country. He wasn’t concerned with fame and fortune, though. He was concerned with God’s glory.

The question Caleb had to answer comes down through the ages. What would you do if He asked you to give it all back to Him? Those who can answer that call without hesitation are the Calebs who will turn this world upside down as the Apostles did in their generation.

Where’s Caleb? Who will step up and challenge the strongholds? Who will believe Me, and in the power of simple belief go forward on My business? Who will stand up and restore to Me the kingdoms of mind and heart?


Caleb believed, even though he saw the fortress walls;
Walked through Hebron's gate, so he sealed their fate.
Hebron was his. Oh, but he grasped not his reward;
Gave it to the service of his Lord.

Caleb understood the point of My promises
Was to help him serve a kingdom need.
Though I promised him the land when he took a stand
He saw only that I'd promised victory.

Well, what would you say if I said, "Give it all away"?
Would you still draw near? Would you still be here?
And, what would you do if I said, "Give it all to Me?"
Would you come and lay it on My throne?

Have you learned the mystery: being rich and poor,
Being full, yet empty all the same?
Would you give up all you own just to save one soul?
I created you to go out in My Name.

So, what would you say if I said, "Give it all away"?
Would you still draw near? Would you still be here?
And, what would you do if I said, "Give it all to Me"?
Would you come and lay it on My throne?