Daily Archives: March 11, 2022

Joshua 15-17

13 According to the commandment of the Lord to Joshua, he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the people of Judah, Kiriath-arba, that is, Hebron (Arba was the father of Anak). 14 And Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak, Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the descendants of Anak. 15 And he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir. Now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher. 16 And Caleb said, “Whoever strikes Kiriath-sepher and captures it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife.” 17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. 18 When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she got off her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” 19 She said to him, “Give me a blessing. Since you have given me the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.” And he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. (Joshua 15:13-19 [ESV])

In the middle of Joshua dividing up the land for the Israelites we see this story of Caleb and what he was given according to the promise the Lord made to him. I’m not going to discuss the details of this passage today, but discuss the person of Caleb. Commentators believe Caleb was around 85 years old when he entered the promised land. You look at all he did in this short passage. He forced people out of the land he was given. He subdivided the land he was given. Caleb was a very active 85 year old. I’ll be 72 next week and I don’t think I could take over our neigborhood let alone Carroll County (the county where I live in Maryland, USA).

However there are things at 72 or 75 or 80 that I can do for God’s Kingdom. I remember my wife’s parents after they fully retired volunteered for a mission agency stuffing letters into envelopes for mailings. My mother had a prayer and mentoring ministry well into her 90’s and still today is an encourager and prayer warrior.

In retirement I challenge you to look forward to what more you can do for the cause of the gospel, not less. If you’re getting close to retirement age be asking yourself and God what’s next in your service to Him and His Kingdom. I’m reminded of John Piper’s observation of a wasted retirement from his book Don’t Waste Your Life: Consider a story from the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest, which tells about a couple who “took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.” At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God-given life—and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells. Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: “Look, Lord. See my shells.” That is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. Over against that, I put my protest: Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life. (Don’t Waste Your Life, 45-46)

Don’t be like that couple. Be like Caleb. Let’s start a revolution that will be world changing as we make the most of our retirements when we come to that season in our lives. Let’s all be Calebs!

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