So what if they were giants? They were on his land! Time for them to go. And who’s gonna make them go? He would. Caleb, the eighty-five year old son of Jephunneh, was ready to take it to them. Unlike many today, his “twilight years” weren’t going to be spent playing games. Instead, “retirement” for Caleb would be lived very much like “pre-retirement” — investing in his CRA . . . laying up treasure in his Caleb Retirement Account.
He had known the emancipation from slavery and the exodus from Egypt. He had walked through the Red Sea. He had served under Moses. When he was forty years old he had spied out the land most thought unconquerable and had formed the minority opinion with Joshua, firmly believing that God could and would give the land promised to them into their hands. He had spent forty years wandering in the desert witnessing firsthand the faithful provision of God and the inevitable death of every one of his peers. And what’s more, he had just survived several years of war in Canaan. You’d think that at eighty-five he’d be saying to Joshua, “Hey Josh, can you find me a nice cushy oasis to settle down in?” But not this guy.
“So now give me this hill country of which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the LORD said.”
(Joshua 14:12 ESV)
You got to be inspired by this guy! Caleb’s ready to fight a tribe of “long-necks” (literal interpretation of Anakim). He’s ready to go toe-to-toe with warriors who are head-and-shoulders above him. And he’s going to do it in the hill country, not even having the advantage of a level playing field. What drives a guy in his 80’s to desire such an undertaking? What compels a senior citizen to keep on keepin’ on like that? I’m thinkin’ he’s driven by faith in his CRA.
” . . . I wholly followed the LORD my God. And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the LORD my God.'”
(Joshua 14:8b-9 ESV)
Three times in this chapter the Holy Spirit makes sure we know that Caleb “wholly followed the LORD.”
When Caleb was delivered from Egypt, he wholly followed the LORD. When he spied out the land, Caleb wholly followed the LORD and was ready to “take the hill” at that time. As he wandered in the wilderness, he wholly followed the LORD. As he moved through the land on the frontlines of battle after battle, he wholly followed the LORD. By faith he had been investing in the inheritance promised him and, at eighty-five years of age, he wasn’t about to stop now. He was building his CRA fully believing that the best was yet to come.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. . . . storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
(1Timothy 6:17-19 ESV)
That’s a CRA . . . investing in an eternal future, laying hold of life that is truly life. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21). Caleb’s goal was to know the realization of the promises of God, that was his treasure. And so, his heart was fully devoted to following the LORD. His “retirement goal” was “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1Peter 1:4), and he would invest in it with all his might until he could invest no more. Even if it meant fighting giants at eighty-five.
Oh that I might be such as Caleb . . . investing in my PRA.
All because of God’s grace. All for God’s glory.