Bible Verse: “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (Numbers 13:30)

Scripture Reading: Numbers 13:1-33

The theme of lifelong serving means serving God throughout a person’s life, from the time he/she becomes a Christian to the end of his/her life regardless of age.

Caleb was sent at the age of forty as one of the twelve Hebrew spies into the Promised Land. After the spies had explored the Land and returned, only he and Joshua kept faith in God and urged the Israelites to enter into Canaan. They argued that even though the people there were like giants, the Israelites should trust God in taking over the land. The other ten spies, however, caused the people to rebel against God’s instructions. They were later punished together with the rest of the Israelites who were over the age of twenty with the exception of only Joshua and Caleb to spend forty years wandering in the desert without ever entering into the Promised Land (Num. 14:29-30).

Both Caleb and Joshua demonstrated wholehearted obedience and faithfulness to the Lord. Joshua, in his last address to the Israelites before his death said: “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Josh. 24:15). Caleb also had been faithful to God all his life. Forty-five years previously, when God announced His punishment on the Israelites because of their disobedience and refusal to follow God’s instruction to enter the Promised Land, He singled out Caleb and commended him saying: “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” (Num. 14:24). Caleb was steadfast throughout those 45 years in following God and had set an excellent example of serving God during his entire life. From this passage, among other things, a clear Biblical theme of lifelong serving emerges, and this has served to motivate senior Christians to continue to serve the Lord even though they may be already advanced in age.

— Gerald K. Chan in Serving in the Golden Years: The Tribe of Caleb
© 2016 by Gerald K Chan. Used by permission.

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