Experiencing Christ

Caleb Being Kept by God

Joshua 14:10  And now, look, Jehovah has kept me alive, as He said, for these forty-five years, since the time Jehovah spoke this word to Moses while Israel walked through the wilderness. And now, look, today I am eighty-five years old. (11) Today I am still as strong as I was on the day Moses sent me out; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for battle and for going out and coming in.

This is Caleb’s word. “For going out and coming in” refers to everyday life; “for battle” refers to life under exceptional circumstances. Caleb’s strength was the same as it was in the day he spoke with Moses, in coping with the ordinary demands of daily life as well as with the demands of life under conditions of special stress. Though forty years had elapsed in the interval, he was as strong as he had been in his earlier days. Here we see God’s keeping power. He was as strong at this time as he was then. He was no less vigorous at eighty-five than he had been at forty. There is only one explanation for this; he had been kept by God. We are totally unable to keep ourselves in the grace of God. There is no guarantee that even five years after we have been saved we will be found in the measure of faith we had in our earlier Christian life. We cannot abide in the grace of God by our own effort; He alone can maintain us in His grace.

What was the condition for Caleb to experience God’s keeping power? Let us consider this matter for a minute. Joshua 14:14 says, “He wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.” And how did he wholly follow the Lord? We are told in Numbers 13 and 14. Numbers 13:30 says, “Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once and possess it; for we are well able to prevail.” “We are well able to prevail.” A person who wholly follows the Lord is one who believes that the promises of God are trustworthy, that He is with His people, and that they are well able to overcome. Brothers and sisters, do you believe this? Many people believe, but their faith is a vacillating faith. They are very timid. They sing their song of praise, but though the words are right, there is something wrong with the tune. In Caleb’s case it was not so; he sang the right words in the right tune. He said, “Let us go up at once.” A person who wholly follows the Lord and reckons Him to be trustworthy is one who does the will of God and does it at once.

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