“Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal: and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said to him, You know what the Lord said to Moses, the man of God and Kadesh-barnea concerning you and me. I was 40 years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea the spy out the land. And I brought him word again as it was in my heart. But my brothers who went up with me, made the heart of the people melt. Yet I wholly followed the Lord, my God. And Moses swore on that day saying, Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord, my God. And now behold, the Lord has kept me alive just as he said, these 45 years since the time the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. “And now behold, I am this day, 85 years old. I’m still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me. My strength now is as my strength was then, for war, and for going and coming. So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day, how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”
So this is a little longer passage than we normally read and pray according to on this podcast. But I think it will be worth it. So follow along verse six of Joshua, chapter 14. Oh, there’s so much here. This picture of Caleb. To summarize, he recounts how, when he was 40, he spied out that land, and he trusted God to give it. Unfortunately, God’s people were not willing to go into that land. And so now here he is, 45 years later, he’s at 85, and he’s saying now I’m ready. I’ve been waiting 45 years for this. Let’s take this land, give me this hill country. And I will drive them out just as the Lord said, trusting that the Lord is with me.
God, we pray that you’d help us to wholly follow you into all that you have for us, and all that you desire to do through us.
And I remember, I distinctly remember reading this chapter on my 40th birthday. It just so happened to be the chapter in my Bible, reading on my 40th birthday one year. And as I read it, I thought, “God, please give me the faith of Caleb, to trust you and to walk into all that you have for me.” And then I think about him saying the same thing at 85. I obviously don’t know how old you are. Maybe you’re four, maybe you’re 40, maybe you’re 85. But regardless of how old you are, I invite you to be as Caleb. And here’s the description that we have in the middle of this passage, Caleb wholly followed the Lord.
That description is unique to Caleb in the Bible. We don’t see those words used to describe anybody else. He wholly followed the Lord. So we pray together from all our ages. God, we pray, help us today to wholly follow you. Holy God, help us to hold nothing back. Help us to wholly follow you with faith. God, help us to trust you to take you at your word, to believe in you and your power and your presence and your promises. God, we pray that you’d help us to wholly follow you into all that you have for us, and all that you desire to do through us. We don’t want to hold anything back. We don’t want to miss out on anything you desire for us.
God, we pray for the strength of Caleb. Whether we’re students, 40-year-olds, 85-year-olds, senior adults, God, we pray for your strength today to fully, wholeheartedly obey you and to experience all that you have designed for our lives, in our lives, and God, through our lives. God, we pray that you would help us to be strong in battling today for your glory, among the nations, for your glory, among all the peoples of the world. God, we pray for the Tarafdar people of Bangladesh.
As God, we pray for somebody to be as Caleb, for laborers to be like Caleb, go and help from our churches to unreached people groups, like the Tarafdar in Bangladesh. God, wholly following you to people who’ve never heard the gospel. God, we pray that you would spend us, completely, our lives till our last breath glorifying you among the nations with faith in you every step of the way, with obedient faith in you. God, we pray that you would help us to wholly follow you. Just like we see in this picture in Caleb, in Joshua chapter 14, we pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.