Caleb: An Optomistic Leader
credits to Joe M. Chesser
(1) A photographer had just taken the picture of a 98 year
old man. He thanked the old gentlemen, saying "I hope
I'll be around to take your picture when you're 100!"
The old man replied, "Why not? You look healthy to
me!" That's optimism.
(2) Having an optomistic outlook is a great blessing.
-- optimism is looking on the positive side of things.
-- It is one of the chief members of the family of
-- optimism is taking a camera when you go fishing.
-- It is a young man hurrying because he thinks his
date is ready and waiting.
-- optimism is reaching for the song book when the
preacher says, "And now in conclusion..."
(3) The church needs a good dose of optimism especially
its leadership.
(4) Not all of God's leaders were or are optimistic
(looking on the positive)
-- How many have heard of Shammua? Shaphat? Igal?
Palti? Gaddiel? Gaddi? Ammiel? Sethur? Nahbi?
-- How about Joshua? Caleb? (the 10 negatives, 2
positive spies), Numbers 13
(5) In this lesson we will take a close look at Caleb
-- prime example of an optimistic leader
-- trusted God's power even when the majority said it
couldn't be done.
(6) What are some of the outstanding characteristics that
made Caleb a successful, optimistic leader?
I. He was a respected man among the people
(1) Num 13:1,2
(2) Of all the people in the tribe of Judah, Caleb was
selected, Num 13:6
-- "ruler" = leader (NASB)
-- from Hebrew nasi = "prince" or "one lifted up"
(3) A leader must have the respect of the people he is
trying to lead.
-- respect comes from being observed in various
-- the church must have respected leaders, I Tim 3:
4-5,7; 5:17
II. He was willing to accept a dangerous assignment
(1) Num 13:17-21 (over 300 miles North to South)
(2) being a spy was not an easy assignment, but then
neither is leadership
-- takes courage and faith to trust God despite
-- there are sometimes physical dangers to church
(1) 2 Cor 11:23-28
(2) even today leaders are sometimes threatened
with violence
-- there are emotional dangers, 2 Cor 11:28
(lawsuits, etc)
(3) The church needs leaders who will accept these dangers
with courage and faith.
III. He had the ability to make a proper evaluation.
(1) All the spies agreed on the abundance of the land,
Num 13:27
(2) After this point, Caleb disagreed with the IO's
evaluation of strength.
-- Num 13:28,29
-- Caleb was more optimistic, Num 13:30
-- Still, the pessimists persisted, Num 13:31-33
(3) Sometimes a leader must stand against the majority
(4) The world, and the church, is full of negative
thinkers who loudly cry: "It can't be done", "It won't
work", "We've trie that", "We're too small"
-- building -- missions -- evangelism
(sound business principles do not always work in the
(5) The church needs more men like Caleb: "we are well
able to overcome it"
IV. He trusted God while others trusted themselves.
(1) The negative spies persuaded the people, Num 14:1-3
(couldn't get Egypt out of their minds)
(2) Still, Caleb did not give up to their weakness, Num
-- victory was already theirs...all they had to do was
go in and take it.
-- Similarly, victory over sin is ours..if we take it,
I Cor 15:55-58
(3) God's leaders must be men who trust in God, not
-- walk by faith, not by sight, 2 Cor 5:7
-- never lose faith, or, like Peter, you will sink
(4) Caleb's trust in God didn't falter even in the face
of death, Num 14:10
V. He was faithful for many years.
(1) Caleb was 40 when he spied Canaan, Josh 14:7
(2) 45 years later he was still faithfully following and
trusting the Lord
-- Josh 14:8,14
-- still trusting the Lord for victory, Josh 14:10-12;
-- even at 85, "give me this mountain"
-- not just any mountain...the mountain where giants
(3) Caleb was a finisher
-- it's easy to be optimistic early
-- it's special to maintain that faith and optimism to
the end.
(4) The leaders of the Lord's church can learn great
lessons from Caleb (as all Christians can)
(1) Caleb's commitment, Josh 14:8-9,14
(2) Caleb's confidence in God's Word, Josh 14:6,10,12
(3) Caleb's courage, Josh 14:12
(4) Caleb's conquest, Josh 15:14
(1) Do you have a positive faith in God?
(2) Is God in total control of your life?
(3) Why not follow the example of Caleb and trust God,
follow Him faithfully, all your life?

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