Have you ever heard of an 85 year old with the same strength as a 40 year old?
That’s basically unheard of today, but in this week’s Bible study, we see a very faithful man who was 85 years old, and was as strong and capable as a 40 year old.
Open your Bibles to Joshua 14:6-15, where we meet a very special man named Caleb.
In Verses 6-9, we learn Caleb’s back story. You have probably heard the story of the 12 spies that Moses sent into the Promised Land in Numbers Chapter 13. The spies checked out the land and the cities, and while they were doing that, they saw the people living in the Promised Land.
The 10 spies were not trusting God, and they came back and told all the people that they would never win against the giants and warriors they saw in the Promised Land. Only 2 of the spies were obedient and trusted God and tried to convince the people they could win.
Guess who they were?
It was Joshua, the new leader of Israel, and Caleb, the man we find here in our study.
Instead of listening to Joshua and Caleb and trusting God like they should have, the people were afraid and angry that God had rescued them from Egypt. They wanted to go back and be slaves in Egypt again!
God was so upset with the Israelites for not trusting Him that He made them wander around in the desert for 40 years until this disobedient generation had died and a new one had taken their place. But one person remained living from that generation, and that was Caleb.
Because he had been obedient to God, God made Caleb live much longer than anyone else.
Caleb tells us in Verse 10, “..The Lord has kept me alive, just as He said, these 45 years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses……I am this day 85 years old.”
He even says in Verse 11, that he is as strong at 85 as he was back when he was 40. Because Caleb was faithful to God and His commands, God blessed Caleb and was faithful to him!
In our study this week, we see that Caleb believed God’s promises, but that’s not all he did.
He took action, and he was obedient.
In Numbers 13:30, we see Caleb trying to convince the people to listen to God.
In Joshua 14:12, we see Caleb trusting God and taking action to drive the Canaanites out of the land God had given him. Caleb didn’t just believe what God said, he told others about it and took action in obedience to God.
Our lives should look exactly the same way.
Sometimes it is very difficult to be faithful to God’s commands. We are tempted to disobey because we are sinners, and on top of that, we have people looking down on us and laughing at us for obeying God all the time.
However, it is impossible to be a Christian and not obey God.
Everyone sins, and being a Christian does not mean you will never sin, but your life should be headed in a general direction of obedience and growth in Christ.
It’s not about perfection, it’s about direction, as my pastor often says.
The direction of our lives should be growing in obedience to God.
We can’t just say we believe in Jesus and think that’s enough.
Look up James 2:14-26, and read it. These verses tell us clear as day, that faith without works doesn’t save us.
We are not saved by our works, and we are not saved by faith and works combined. We are saved only by faith, but if our faith is real and true, we will naturally have works and obedience to back it up.
That is what James is trying to say in James 2:14-26, and that is what we see in the example of Caleb. We are saved by faith alone, but true faith will produce obedience in us.
As young Christian men, it’s time to stand up and obey God no matter what the cost. If we truly have faith, we will obey God and tell others about Him no matter what anyone else thinks of us. As Christians, we need to be working towards better and better obedience to God because of our faith in Him.
It’s your job as a young man to be a leader in your obedience, and to tell others about your faith in God just like Caleb did here in Joshua 14:6-15.
Let’s talk in the comments below:
How is God calling you to be obedient to Him today?
What are some areas of your life where you could be more obedient to God?
What have you learned in this week’s study of Joshua 11-15?