Friday, October 14, 2011

Joshua Chapter 13-21

Hymns for the Aged
1.     Precious Lord, Take My Hand . . . And Help Me Up
2.     It Is Well with My Soul . . . But My Knees Hurt
3.     Nobody Knows the Trouble I Have Seeing
4.     Just a Slower Walk with Thee
5.     Count Your Many Birthdays, Name Them One by One
6.     Go Tell It on the Mountain . . . But Speak Up
7.     Give Me the Old Timers' Religion  
8.      Blessed Insurance
9.     Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah . . .
           I've Forgotten Where I Parked
10.    LORD Lift Me Up & Let Me Stand,
          My Walker Is In The Other Room

 “I get up each morning, dust off my wits, pick up the paper and read the obits. If my name is missing, I know I’m not dead, so I eat a good breakfast—and go back to bed!”

You know you are old when
·        It takes two tries to get up from the couch.
·        Your back goes out but you stay home.
·        It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired.
·        You finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.
·        Everything hurts, and what doesn't hurt - doesn't work.
·         You look for your glasses for half an hour and they were on your head the whole time.
·        The twinkle in your eye is merely a reflection on your bifocals.
·        Most of the names in your address book  start with Dr.

The preacher came to call the other day.
He said that at my age I should be
thinking about the here-after.
I told him I do, all the time.
No matter where I am,
in the kitchen or down in the basement,
I ask myself, “Now what am I here after?”

A church sign in Belmont read-
People spend more time worrying about the future than planning for it.

We all hope to enjoy our golden years. Instead some live in fear, worrying they’ll get sick, run out of money, or lose their spouse. My Dad had some sad months after the death of my mother five years ago. He has made many new and younger friends, but now he is worried that he will outlive his money. Social security cannot pay for his medical bills and utilities. He is thinking about a reverse mortgage. Other seniors live in regret, thinking, “If only I’d worked longer, done more, saved more, exercised more, or watched my diet more!”

 At this point in my life my philosophy is “Whatever!” Years ago I would cringe when my teenager said “whatever.” But now it has a new meaning. Whatever God has in store for me, I will trust him. With my money, with my health, with my children-I say, “Whatever You want to me to do, Dear LORD, I will trust in you.
Opening Prayer

·       Caleb was a man of conviction and commitment.
·       Even at 85, Caleb was strong and vigorous.
·       Caleb finished his life well.

Remember in a previous lecture we saw how courageous Caleb and Joshua were to disagree with the other 10 spies sent out by Moses. Numbers 32:11 and Deuteronomy 1:36 34 When the LORD heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: 35 “Not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the LORD wholeheartedly.’

Strong’s dictionary of Greek and Hebrew states the Kenizzites derived their name from Kenaz—a descendant of Esau (Genesis 36:11)—who is listed among the Edomite chieftains. The tribe of Judah absorbed some of the Kenizzites in Egypt.  Jephunneh the Kenizzite must have married a woman of the tribe of Judah. Their son was Caleb.

Tonight in our study of Joshua we return to the question; “Whatever happened to Caleb?”
·        Caleb was a man of conviction and commitment.
Joshua 14 describes the division of the land west of the Jordan. As the tribe of Judah is called, Caleb now 85 years old boldly appeals before Joshua for his rightful portion.  Not just any section of Canaan, but the area that he scouted out 45 years ago.
 Numbers 14:24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.
Let’s open our Bibles and look at Chapter 14.

 6 Now the men of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.
The word wholeheartedly is used seven times in the NIV to describe Caleb, three times in this chapter alone. Webster defines “wholehearted,” as completely, sincerely devoted, determined; marked by a complete earnest commitment.  

Caleb personifies this word. He alone spoke out before the assembly with a positive conviction that Israel could conquer the land of the giants. He and Joshua were the only two that knew their strength was in the LORD God of Israel.

During a visit to England Dwight L. Moody heard the words which set him hungering and thirsting after a deeper Christian experience. The words were spoken to him by Mr. Henry Varley, the well known evangelist, as they sat together in a public park in Dublin. The words were these: "The world has yet to see what God will do with a man who is wholly consecrated to Him." Moody said to himself, “I am a man, and it lies with the man himself whether he will or will not make that entire and full consecration. I will try my utmost to be that man."

John 10:10 b “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Do you want live your life fully? Do you want to make a lasting impact for God? Then be a person of wholehearted commitment to your LORD and Savior.

·       Even at 85, Caleb was strong and vigorous.

A man was heard to say “Don’t ask me if I hurt, ask me where I hurt.” Getting down on my knees to pray is not the hard part, it is getting up that requires effort. All of us were not as blessed as Caleb to maintain the strength and agility we possessed in our forties.

10 “Now then, just as the LORD 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 I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.
Psalm 92:12-14
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the LORD,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will be full of sap and very green

Caleb was not a man to spend his later years sitting down. He kept wanting what God wanted, willing what God willed, and continued that attitude into old age. Caleb never gave up in his pursuit of God, and that's what kept him young at heart. 

How do you feel about aging? Our bodies have grown to maturity and we must work to maintain our mental acuity. You know the adage, “use it or lose it.” As adults maybe we feel we have achieved spiritual maturity, but in reality spiritual growth is a lifetime experience. CBS is a wonderful place to grow in knowledge and wisdom.

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. ~ Mark Twain
You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old. ~ George Burns
Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art. ~ Stanislaw Lec

 Getting older can mean growing and maturing, serving and ministering, venturing and enjoying ourselves to the end of our days.  Or it can be sitting in the recliner watching the stock market run across the bottom of the TV screen and listening to you arteries harden. The choice is yours. There is still service to be rendered, mountains to be climbed, giants to be conquered. Choose to live your life to the fullest in service to Christ.
·         Caleb finished his life well.
12 Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”
 At 85 years old Caleb was still waging war on the giants with the LORDs help. Remember this is the same land he and Joshua scouted 45 years ago with the ten other spies. 

Numbers 13:33We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Matthew Henry  Caleb's request is, “Give me this mountain,” or Hebron, because it was formerly in God's promise to him, and he would let Israel knows how much he valued the promise. Those who live by faith value that which is given by God's promise, far above what is given by his providence only. It was now in the Anakims' possession, and Caleb would let Israel know how little he feared the enemy, and he encouraged them to push on in their conquests and claim the land the Lord had promised. Caleb answered to his name, which signifies all heart. Hebron was settled by Caleb and his heirs, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. Happy are we if we follow him.

Psalm 71:18
18 Even when I am old and gray,
   do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
   your might to all who are to come. 

Charlotte evangelist, Billy Graham turned 93 this year. Although his eyes are weak and his physical body is ailing, he finished dictating a book that he has worked on for three years.  Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well. 

Don’t we all want to be able to say we finished well.  As Paul states in his letter…
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Years ago when I could see to cross stitch, I framed for my Mother a quote from Betty Feezer.

Live your life so that when you are gone, it will have mattered.” 
What kind of legacy will you leave for your children and grandchildren?
We know we can’t live forever, but we can make the most of our lives by living fully for Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:1
Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
I long for the day when Jesus will look me in the face and say ,Well done, good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:23

·       Will you choose to live your life fully for the LORD? 

“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Closing Prayer: