by David and Stephen Olford
Text: "And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive . . . As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me.... And Joshua blessed him" (Joshua 14:10-13).
Thought: Caleb is the outstanding Old Testament example of a man who wholly followed the Lord his God. It cost him everything, but such wholehearted following also paid him everything.
The Experience of a Spared Life:"The Lord hath kept me alive"(v. 10). This was the testimony of Caleb. Unlike the rest of the camp, Caleb and Joshua were spared because they wholly followed the Lord. Moses died; so did the rest of that generation (Heb. 3:17). Paul, in his reference to this same fact, states: "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition" (1 Cor. 10:11). Death for the believer can never mean spiritual death, but it may and does mean spiritual barrenness, or physical death, as past and contemporary history will illustrate. Caleb was spared from such death, both spiritually and physically.
The Experience of a Strong Life:"I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me"(v. 11). At 85 years of age Caleb was strong enough for victorious warfare; indeed, in Chapter 15:14 we read: "And Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak."Anak, whose name means "giant" or "long-necked," was the son of Arba, whose name signifies "the strength of Baal." Though the giants were great in size, he was greater in spirit. He overcame them by the power of a surrendered life. The principle of true victory is just the same today, that the believer who overcomes can only do so in the strength of a yielded life.
The Experience of a Satisfied Life: "Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb...Hebron for an inheritance" (vv. 13-15). In these statements we have the true ingredients of a satisfied life. There was spiritual prosperity-Joshua's inheritance. This inheritance had been his by promise for 45 years, but now he consciously possessed it. The Hebron of spiritual blessings in Christ is available only to the surrendered believer. Finally, there was spiritual blessing-"And the land had rest from war." We are not to infer from this that the Christian's war ceases while he is on earth. At the same time, however, the Word of God makes it clear that in answer to a full surrender the believer may know the rest of being more than conqueror.
Thrust: "Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Rom. 6:13).
David Olford makes possible the continuation of this column by editing material
from his father's writings. Through his efforts, Points to Ponder continues
to bless, encourage, and challenge readers.