03/23/17 The Hill Country

READING: Joshua 13-15, Luke 1:57-80

“Now then, give me this hill country.”

Joshua 14:12

I love Caleb, especially now that I’m getting older. He was 85 years old when he requested that portion of the Promised Land where the Anakim—the giants—lived. He wanted the hill country where the battle for securing the land could still be engaged: “Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities” (Josh. 14:12). You might recall that giants in the land were one of the reasons the previous generation had determined not to take the Promised Land – but Caleb was one of only two spies then who trusted God would drive away the enemies in the land. Caleb was faithful then, and he continued to be faithful to God decades later.  

More important than that, however, God had continued to be faithful to Caleb: “I [Caleb] am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in” (Josh. 14:11). Decades had passed, but Caleb was still ready for the battle. He knew God would be with him as he sought to drive the giants out of the land. Indeed, God gave him Hebron, and one reason He did so was, “he followed the Lord God of Israel fully” (Josh. 14:14).

This story has become the basis of a prayer for me – a prayer that I will fight the battle fully, trusting God to help me climb over mountains and slosh through valleys as long as I live. It is a prayer to not let age get in the way of obedience. I want to evangelize, preach, and disciple until the day I die, and that can happen only if God strengthens me each day. Only if he first strengthens me this day, in fact.

If I should reach Caleb’s age of 85 and still be fighting the battle, it won’t be because I exercise faithfully. It won’t be because of my education and training. It won’t be because of my ministry experience. No, it will be because of God’s loving care and protection. 

We conquer the hill country, regardless of how old we are, only because of God. Period.

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Evaluate what hills you still need to climb in faith. Take a step in the right direction.
  • Thank God that He’s faithful to us even when we’re not faithful to Him.

PRAYER: “Father, make me willing to pray, ‘Give me the hill country where the giants still are.'”

TOMORROW’S READING: Joshua 16-18, Luke 2:1-24