Daily D – Joshua 13:1
Joshua was now old, advanced in age, and the LORD said to him, “You have become old, advanced in age, but a great deal of the land remains to be possessed.
JOSHUA 13:1 (CSB)
I have a friend who has grown old. For many years now, he has led a ministry of depth and significance to young leaders at home and abroad. His physical capacity is diminishing. His bride also has health challenges. Travel is not as easy as it once was.
Zoom meetings came along at just the right time for him to extend his ministry beyond his normal capacity. God makes a way when there seems to be no way. Where God guides, God provides. Maybe you have heard this somewhere before.
God did the same thing for a couple of certified old men in Israel. Joshua and Caleb were the only two of the original twelve spies who investigated the land forty-plus years before. They were among the only survivors of the deliverance from Egypt. Take a look at what God did for these crusty old codgers.
After the double down on the note of Joshua’s age in verse 1, God says in verse 6, “I will drive them out before the Israelites, only distribute the land as an inheritance for Israel, as I have commanded you.” God would keep doing what he was doing. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is not limited by our diminishing capacities. He is not dependent on our strength.
God would continue his work. He also told Joshua to keep doing what he was doing. He may not be leading people into battle, but he was to keep on making distribution of the land to the different tribes within Israel. Joshua’s responsibilities and opportunities narrowed but did not come to an end until he did.
Flip the page to Joshua 14 and reacquaint yourself with Caleb. He was the other certified old guy who had unfinished business. You can read his speech to Joshua beginning in verse 6. My favorite part begins in the middle of verse 10:
Take note that Caleb was ready for a fight even it if was against giants. He didn’t care who lived there. God made a promise and Caleb was going to see that promise fulfilled. You get the idea that Caleb was a Die With His Boots On kind of guy.
The bottom line of these two chapters about old men doing old men stuff is found in 14:15: “After this, the land had rest from war.”
Don’t quit before you’re done.
If God is not finished with you, do not sign off. Shift, adjust, find new ways of doing your continuing responsibilities. Look for new opportunities. God’s best blessings through you for others may well come in your penultimate days.
I will not quit before I am done.
Our Father, you never change. I change every day. As Galadriel told Frodo, “I will diminish and go into the West.” You are the same as when you spoke this world into existence. You are the same God who has kept every promise and won every battle. You are the same God of the Red Sea, the wilderness provision, the Jordan River crossing, the conquest of the land, and fiery furnaces and lions’ dens, and crucifixion and resurrection. The only thing you cannot do is fail. You can take old men and women and bless the work of their hands just as you do their younger proteges. Do not allow me to quit until I’m done. Give me my next task and the wisdom, power, and authority to accomplish it. Amen.
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Ruth 1:20, 21 “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara,” she answered, “for the Almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has opposed me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” (CSB)