“It isn’t age that bothers us; it’s the lack of enthusiasm regarding life that grieves us.” —Charles R. Swindoll
Spend decades working for full-time pay...enjoy your last years in full-time play. Sadly, many believe this lie, adopt it as their attitude, and pledge allegiance to it as their purpose. But many find their enthusiasm waning, especially in their final years, because that pervading creed leaves them empty. We exist for more than all work or all play.
Today, we’ll study the life of an 85-year-old man, Caleb, whose faith in God gave him a higher purpose and transformed his attitude. From Joshua 14, Chuck Swindoll shows us what it takes to have that abiding enthusiasm that lasts into our final days.
In Rahab’s story (Joshua 2), we saw a Canaanite prostitute display faith in God and become a covenant member of Israel. In Achan’s story (Joshua 7), we saw a covenant member of Israel trivialize God’s instructions and receive God’s sweeping judgment. Afterward, in chapters 8–12, God used Joshua and the Israelites to conquer the kings of Canaan. Then, God allotted the land. Joshua 13 recalls the distributions across the Jordan River to Rueben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. The allocations in the promised land began with the tribe of Judah, specifically with Caleb.
Again and again, we hear that Caleb faithfully followed the Lord (Numbers 14:24; 32:12; Deuteronomy 1:36; Joshua 14:9, 14). In fact, God told Moses, “But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have” (Numbers 14:24).
Caleb persevered in his walk with God because he remained confident in God’s provision. He didn’t waver. He stayed focused and knew the goal. With an attitude of fortitude, Caleb received God’s promise.
A similar theme surfaces in the New Testament. The book of Revelation records Jesus’ urgent letters to seven churches exhorting them to refocus and persevere so they can inherit His promises. Take a moment to read the letter to each of these churches. Then, write a single-sentence summary of Jesus’ call to faithfulness as well as His unique promise to each church.