Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which the LORD spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea.”
As the Israelites are allotting the land, parceling it out, Caleb decides to come talk to Joshua before things get rolling along and the promise made by God through Moses to Caleb is forgotten. God had made a promise to Caleb 45 years prior that Caleb would be given all the land that he had spied out. Interestingly, the land that Caleb claims is giant-infested hill country. The next chapter recounts Caleb driving out the giants and inspiring others to do the same, but the land he claims is, when he claims it, filled with Anakim. This 85-year-old man lays claim to land that he will have to drive giants out of if he wants to live on it.
There are a couple of times that Caleb makes statements that remind me that he is not presuming upon God. He says the LORD has let me live (v 10) as pertains to the time between the promise and its fulfillment and he says perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken. (v 12) as pertains to the actual fulfillment of the promise. Caleb counted the land as his, because God had promised it to him. Whether or not Caleb, himself, would be able to possess that land or it would be something his children inherited did not seem to trouble him. God let him live long enough to see the conquest of the Promised Land and the land that had been promised to him, personally, was ripe for the plucking. Caleb knew that the land was his, because God had promised it. Caleb knew that the giants were leaving, because God had promised the land to Caleb. Would Caleb be the one to drive them out? Maybe. Caleb does not seem to presume that God is going to use him (Caleb) to drive the Anakim out.
The other thing I note is that Caleb is rather bold about this. Caleb does not mince words or act like he is asking for something. He speaks to Joshua about the promise made by God through Moses and does so with full confidence and expectation that Joshua will make good on it. James will write later that the person who prays should not do so doubting. If I am coming to God to ask Him to fulfill a promise He has made to me, I can do so with full confidence that God will perform that which He has promised. If I doubt, then I call into question that character of the One Who made the promise, i.e. God.
This gives two pieces of application for me. (1) I should never presume upon God. There is no guarantee that God will do things that way that I think He ought to do them. In point of fact, He more often does things in a way I had not considered. (2) I can have full confidence that God will make good on His promises and I should seek after those promises as if they are guaranteed — which they are. God will make good on His promises and He will do so in the time and manner that He chooses.
Father, thank You that Your promises are sure. Please teach me to approach You boldly, as Caleb approached Joshua, to seek after those promises.