There are many great men of God in the Bible; too many to list them all. But those like Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, David, James, John, Peter and, of course, the greatest of all, Jesus, have been the subjects of Sunday School classes and topics of sermons on numerous occasions. There is one man who has not been studied or preached about as nearly as often as some others, but he is one of my favorites. That man is Caleb.
Caleb, along with Joshua, were two of the men Moses sent into the promised land to spy it out. Only Joshua and Caleb returned with a positive report and recommended the invasion. But the people accepted the counsel of the other 10 spies and therefore the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 more years. By the time Canaan was divided among the tribes of Israel and Caleb received a portion for his inheritance, he was 85 years old.
Moses has died and Joshua, the leader of the nation of Israel, is about to divide the territory. Caleb comes to Joshua and says, “Just as the Lord has promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So, here am I today, eighty-five years old. I am as strong today as I was the day that Moses sent me out; I am just as vigorous to go out to battle today as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Amalekites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but with the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said."
In America, when people reach the 65-70 age bracket, their thinking changes. It’s time to retire, apply for Social Security and Medicare and transition to a different style of life. Sadly, with those changes comes a change in self-perception: My productive years are over; my strength is waning; my best years are behind me.
Retirement is not a biblical word. Change and transition? Yes. I am convinced that our senior years can be the most beneficial and productive for the Lord if we continue to avail ourselves of the opportunities of service available to us. Our years of experience, less family responsibility, and more leisure time gives us great opportunities to be of greater service to the Lord.