Every day we grow a little older. This truth can depress us or inspire us to make the most of life. I’m glad the Bible reveals many great examples of growing older in grace. Caleb is one of them. He first appears in Numbers 13:6 as one of the 12 spies of Israel sent into Canaan to explore the land. When they returned, only Caleb and Joshua spoke words of faith to the people—while the other spies delivered a bad report. God blessed Caleb (and Joshua) by allowing him to enter the Promised Land. All the other Israelites, 40-years-old and up, died in the wilderness. Fast forward. In Joshua 14 we see Caleb as an 85-year-old man. At this time, the Israelites had captured and possessed much of the Promised Land. Many of Caleb’s friends had already begun to settle down to a life of ease. However, Caleb had other plans! He came one day to Joshua (Israel’s leader) with a testimony and a request. “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years…. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day” (Joshua 14:10-12b). The Bible records Joshua’s response to Caleb: “Then Joshua blessed Caleb…and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly” (Joshua 14:13-14). Caleb inspires me! I am blessed by his wholehearted devotion. God honored Caleb by giving him the strength he needed to keep expanding the Promised Land. I believe God will continue to give us new dreams and visions—even as we grow older. Along with this, I see from Caleb’s life that God’ strength is available to those who desire to do God’s will. May we courageously pray as Caleb prayed, “…give me this hill country” (v12a)! Possessing the hill country will not be easy and simple, but we can do whatever God calls us to do. Thank you, Caleb, for being an inspiration to all of us! “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
Pastor Mark Boucher