But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed me fully…
I. As the foundation of all, we must look to THE INWARD MIND AND DISPOSITION of him who aims at this character (1 Samuel 16:7). There is much meaning in that common expression which we are every day using, of making up our minds. When a man says, "I have made up my mind to do this or that thing," we have no security that he will afterwards act rightly, but we have every reason to expect that he will take a firm and consistent course. So also in religion, the great point is to make up our minds; to come to a clear understanding with ourselves on every point which may affect the consistency of our future course. Wayward and divided affections invariably lead to capricious and hesitating conduct. A firm persuasion of God's providence, an intimate conviction of His truth, and an unwavering reliance on His goodness, are the groundwork of a character which is equally "acceptable to God and approved of men," the character of those who "wholly follow the Lord their God."
II. A person who is thus "rooted and grounded in love," will be prepared to fulfil the next requirement, viz., that of UNIFORM AND UNRESERVED OBEDIENCE.
III. But, as Christians, we must not forget that OUR RELIGION IS ONE OF FAITH AS WELL AS OF DUTY. In fact, the doctrines and precepts of the gospel are so mixed up together, and so dependent the one upon the other, that they must be accepted as a whole, as a system, or not at all. To "believe all the articles of the Christian faith" is as incumbent upon those who would follow the Lord fully, as to "keep God's holy will and commandments, and to walk in the same all the days of their life." If the preacher is bound to "keep back nothing" from his hearers, so, on the other hand, the hearers must "receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save their souls." To "follow the Lord fully" is to accept the covenant of grace in its simplicity; to know, and to desire to know, no other terms of salvation than those of "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
IV. To "follow the Lord fully" is to FOLLOW HIM TO THE END. When we speak of final perseverance, we are not alluding to any supposed privilege of the saints, commonly called by that name; as if those who have once been truly converted to God, could never finally fall away from it. On the contrary, we believe that so long as we are in the flesh we must "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling." But we speak of persevering in religion as we do of persevering in any other good work, which is begun with ardour, but which, in its progress, meets with difficulties and discouragements such as mere warmth of temper will never enable us to surmount. We speak of that perseverance of the saints which is pointed at in such texts as Matthew 10:22; Hebrews 3:14; Galatians 6:9. To "follow the Lord fully" we must pass through all the stages of the spiritual life; we must be subject to all the trials of the Christian course.
(F. Field, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.