Joshua 14:6 Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.7 Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.
8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.
9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.
10 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
11 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.
12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.
Unfortunately, some Christians have become convinced that old age serves as a sufficient excuse for a lack of service to the Lord’s work. Granted, the field of one’s service may change, but there should always remain a willingness to serve. For instance, Moses received his initial call to deliver Israel at forty years old (Acts 7:23), but did not lead God’s people out of Egypt until he was eighty (Exodus 7:7). When he died at 120 years of age, he remarked that “his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated” (Deuteronomy 34:7). At forty years of age, Caleb received a promise from Moses concerning the possession of land in Canaan (Joshua 14:7-9). Forty-five years later, Caleb took possession by driving out the mighty Anakims (Joshua 14:10-12). Caleb did something in his old age that many of the young men could not or would not attempt (Joshua 17:13).
• (For children): Zacharias and Elisabeth served God even into their old age (Luke 1:5-7). In fact, while Zacharias was serving in the temple, an angel of the Lord made a great announcement to him (Luke 1:8-13). This elderly couple raised their son to serve God (Luke 1:80), resulting in the Lord speaking well of John (Luke 7:28a).
• (For everyone): Even as older men, Paul (Philemon 9) and John (3 John 1) continued to write epistles encouraging God’s people. You will never pen an inspired epistle, but what are some things you might be able to do even when you are older?
• How might history be different if Moses, because of his age, had refused to lead Israel out of Egypt? How might history be different if Paul and John, as they grew older, refused to write as God led them?
• Ask the Lord to give you a desire to serve Him, regardless of your age.
• Ask God to give you strength each day to do His will.
SONG: I WANT THAT MOUNTAIN