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The Old Man And The Mountain

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An Old man Who wanted a Mountain[1]



1.     The time we are about to enter into is of eternal importance.

(1)         I hope that you are able to use it to walk in a better way than you have in the past.  If you are completely satisfied with your walk, I hope you will become more introspective.

(2)         It is my hope that you are elevated in some way.

2.     Illustration:  An Old Man Who Wanted A Mountain

Story of a man who at the age of 40 saw a mountan.  He wanted that mountain.  However, he could not obtain it.  Then some 45 years later, at the age of 85 he continued to desire that mountain, yet had not the means to obtain it.  He continued to think about that mountain (Read Josh. 14:12).

3.     Regarding text:   

(1)         This old man = Caleb.

(2)         Caleb speaks of the mountain as if he was standing at the foot of it, gazing its misty heights, but he was many miles away.

A.       Cf. story of Num. 13 – Moses sending the 12 spies.  Canaan was a mountainous country.

B.       Canaan was a fortified land and to add insult to injury, the land was occupied by giants.

C.       Caleb saw it all and was impressed, but 10 other spies were not.  Their hearts fainted.

(3)         10 spies return and say that the people cannot take the land.

(4)         Bear in mind, Caleb saw exactly what they saw!  Caleb did not see defeat --

A.       He saw a challenge.

B.       He saw God (and that makes a difference).

(a)       Ten spies thought only of what they could do.

i.        Perhaps some of their kinfolk dwell in the church today.

ii.      Some folks don’t make plans for tomorrow nor do they include God (cf. James 4:13-15).

iii.     Because some did not find trust in God, Israel wandered lost for 40 years.

iv.    Even the faithful, Caleb and Joshua had to turn back and wander with them.

(b)       Caleb thought in terms of what God can do!

C.       45 years later that wandering lost generation died out, and 45 years later as Caleb knew exactly what he wanted.  He wanted that Mountain!

(a)       He wasn’t retired or retiring!

(b)       Read Josh. 14:10-12.

(c)       If he had to take giants off that mountain to have it, then so be it.  That is what Caleb would do!

4.     Within this account of Caleb, there is a story just for you (young, old, weak, strong…)

(1)         Young – some have looked upon the country and seen giants.  Defeated.

A.       If feels good do it!  - Burn a barn!  Bash mailboxes!  Steal road signs!  Fornicate!  Drugs!


C.       There is a lesson for you.  You can rise up and overcome.  You can remain faithful.

D.       There is a lesson for you.  When God tells you to do something and even demands it.  YOU CAN DO IT!


I.            some have looked upon the country and seen giants.  Defeated.

1.      If feels good do it!  - Burn a barn!  Bash mailboxes!  Steal road signs!  Fornicate!  Drugs!


3.      There is a lesson for you.  You can rise up and overcome.  You can remain faithful.  (Eccl. 12:1; 1 Tim. 4:12; Eph. 6:1).

4.      There is a lesson for you.  When God tells you to do something and even demands it.  YOU CAN DO IT!

II.          OLDER – perhaps you didn’t get your mountain when you were young. 

1.      Maybe in your youth you didn’t teach anyone the gospel (even family).

2.      In your age and with your wisdom, you now have new found possibilities.

3.      You can realize the mountain that you wanted so long ago.

(1)           Determine what you wanted in your youth.

(2)           Go after it even now.  God will help you do it.

4.      Caleb was 85 years old.  Yet not too old to move giants off “his” mountain!

(1)           Never get too old to attend services.

(2)           Never get too old to invite others.

(3)           Never get too old to show kindness and grace (Terrible to see someone get dry and grouchy).  Don’t convince yourself that you are too old!!!

5.      1 Cor. 15:58; Heb. 3:14.

III.        whole church – seems to be afraid at times of “hard” jobs.

1.      We are approaching 2003 yearly planning session.  There is work to do.

2.      We are actively involved in taking the gospel to the world, let us increase and continue.  (I believe it will become more difficult – May God have mercy on our souls if we don’t rise to the challenge.)

3.      We have a hard job in our country of battling:

(1)           Denominationalism – (Cf. Eph. 4:4; Eph. 4;15; Jude 3; Mt. 7:21; Jn. 17; 2 Jn. 9-11).

(2)           Post-modernism / Existentialism – (Col. 2:8; Isa. 5:20).

(3)           Islam (One set of inspired truth; one body; one Savior; on plan of salvation).

(4)           Materialism (Col 3:5  Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry).

(5)           Liberalism

(6)           Situational ethics.

(7)           Complacency (James 4:17; Rom. 12:1,2; Heb. 3:13)

4.      What do you reckon Caleb would say to us if he was here today?

(1)           Elders – “Give me the hardest job!  One that no one else wants to do!

A.         What would elders / deacons had folks lined up saying – “What you want me to do;  who do you want me to visit; what works can I support financially?”

B.         What might happen if you start looking for the hard jobs to do.

(2)           Toby – “Come with me!  I know where some giants are! (Let’s do more evangelism!)

5.      Precious treasures await us, but they are giants guarding.   We will have to be like Caleb (cf. David) and root them out; cut them down.

(1)           Bible mastery  - oh I can’t learn it  (cf. Jn. 7:17 – “In any one wants to do…”

A.         You can learn the Bible.  It is a big book, but you can learn it if you will!

B.         Consider how much reading you do in a days time (billboards, paper, etc.).

C.         1189 chapters is all;  3,566,480 letters;  31,102 verses; 773,746 words!

D.         If you will read one chapter a day you will read the Bible in three years.

(2)           Evangelism – it does produce a certain amount of fear doesn’t it?

A.         Perhaps there are giants behind the doors that we knock on!

B.         What do you reckon Caleb would say?  Give it to me!  I’ll knock!

(3)           Increase our budget – (Especially since we’ve done so well in the past).

A.         If Caleb were here, he would say INCREASE.  (Lk. 6:38 – how many believe?)

B.         SUPPY and you will multiply (God loves a cheerful giver).  Cf. 90% vs 10%.

(4)           Increasing our attendance (Seems to be guarded by giants).

A.         Encourage you to bring your church directory with you tonight and make note of the folks that you do not see; and especially have not seen for some time!

B.         Then encourage you to call or write them and let them know you missed them.

C.         If every single one of us reached out to three or four others (brethren or not) and made earnest effort to getting them here, how full do you reckon this building would be?  OVERFLOWING!!!

(5)           Raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).


1.     When it comes to your existence in the kingdom of Christ, what do you desire?  A mole hill or a mountain?

2.     Christians need to learn from Caleb, the lessons of steadfast faith!

3.     If you are not a Christian this hour, then you need to learn the lesson:

        (1)     When God promises you that something can be done, IT CAN BE DONE!

        (2)     God doesn’t ask the impossible! (cf. Israel’s promised land).

        (3)     God promises you that you can be saved:

                A.     Mk. 16:16.  If you do your part, the Lord will keep His promise.

                B.     Acts 2:38 – If you do your part, then God will keep His.

                C.     Acts 22:16 – If you do your part, then God will keep His promise.

4.     The church and the world need men like Caleb.  Men who know the will of God and are committed to doing it!

5.     Are you a Caleb?


[1] Outline by Joe Gilmore.  Adaptations and additions by Toby L. Soechting for preaching at Howe, TX.

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