As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. ~Joshua 14:11
People who run marathons are a rare breed. They are a special minority of athletes who train and live their lives to participate in a grueling running event of 26.2 miles. According to Wikipedia, the marathon got its name from the Greek soldier Pheidippides, who ran from the battlefield in Marathon all the way to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persians. We use the word “marathon” to describe any event that requires exceptional endurance. Caleb is not noted for running a marathon during his lifetime, but, at age 85, he exemplified exceptional endurance to say that he was as strong at age 85 as he was at age 40. He lived his life as a marathon man.
We see the character.
“As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me.” The first introduction we have to Caleb is that he was one of twelve men that were sent and trusted by Moses to give a report about Kadeshbarnea. Only Caleb and Joshua brought back a good report and had faith in God to claim the land. We are told repeatedly that Caleb “wholly followed the LORD.” There was complete devotion to God in his heart. He was a man who was holy, full of faith, and undivided in his heart towards God. His life at age 85 demonstrated the same godly character that he had when he was 40.
We see the control.
In order to have the same strength when we are older, we must be disciplined, or controlled, in our life. We must be under the control of the Holy Spirit. He had to emphasize a daily walk in the Spirit. We must be under the control of self. We must limit our life from becoming bitter, critical, and sidetracked. We must control our appetite and not become indulgent or impulsive in our desires. We must bring our body under control. Daily physical and mental exercises are important in order to maintain strength. We must be disciplined and consistent in the area of control.
We see the capability.
“As my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.” Caleb testified that his strength at age 85 was the same as it was at 40. He was strong enough to fight in war and to move around as men half his age. He didn’t use his age as an excuse for getting out of things. Caleb was as strong as he always was. Forty-five years earlier, he decided he wanted to be just as strong in his later years as he was then. For everyone in the fourth quarter of their life, we should seek to do just as much as before, work just as hard as before, and exercise the same as or greater faith than we did before. Caleb exemplified endurance. “He endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”
We see the compensation.
At the end of a marathon, runners are recognized for completing the race. The winner receives a grand prize. Caleb endured so that he could receive his inheritance. He asked for the mountain where the Anakims dwelt. His goal at age 85 was to wipe out the Anakims and stake his claim. He took possession of all of Hebron. He was rewarded with his inheritance. His focus, devotion, diligence, discipline, and patience paid off. He waited forty-five years to arrive at this place in life, but it was worth the wait. Don’t try to collect on God without being patient, disciplined, or faithful. The cost to attaining God’s reward is more than worth the effort. Like Caleb, there is a reward awaiting those who endure and wholly follow the Lord.
Have a dedicated God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Kings 10-11