Growing up we had a popular saying about those who are tired and just can’t go on, that they have ‘parked’, like you park a car after a long journey. I hear so many people saying they are tired and all they want to do is retire and just coast through the rest of life. I hear people saying they have fought and laboured for so long and are now disillusioned and tired. I can’t pretend that I don’t understand this position, but I do not look at men to find my cue in life, but I look to the one who gave me life and who ordained life and Who alone has a right to retire me or you to retire. Some people want to retire at 40, 50, 60, 70, but I really cannot see any biblical evidence for such retirement ages.
Today, I want to focus on a man called Caleb. We can find his story in the bible. He was 45 years old when Moses chose him along with 11 other men to go and spy out the land of Canaan and bring back a report on this reconnaissance mission. The issue got complicated when the 12 spies returned. Caleb from the tribe of Judah and his friend, Joshua, from the tribe of Ephraim, gave a very good report of the land and believed they could go and possess it. But, the 10 other spies, leaders of their family groups, gave a bad report. They saw that the land was good and the produce of the land was as God had said, flowing with milk and honey, but they discountenanced these and focused instead on the inhabitants of the land. They focused on the giants, the sons of Anakin they saw and got terrified. The basically discouraged everyone and said they were like grasshoppers in their eyes and so they were in the sight of the giants. Look at the scriptures:
Numbers 13:31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the [h]giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like[i] grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
Caleb the Dog
This led to God forbidding Israel to go forward and possess the land, and God waited another 40 years, till all the generation that came out of Egypt with the wrong mindset died off, except for Caleb and his friend. Just for emphasis, Caleb mean a dog. In Hebrew context naming a person after an animal is not derogatory, rather it is a complement and speaks of their prophetic destiny. A dog is loyal and a dog is stubborn or dogged and will not let go of a prey in its mouth once her gets it between his teeth. Caleb was loyal to the Lord and was dogged in trusting and believing in the Lord for His promises.
6 Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. 8 Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the [a]heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. 9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ 10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel [b]wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”
Give me this mountain
13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. 15 And the name of Hebron formerly was Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim).
So, at age 85, Caleb, spoke to Joshua and said “Give Me This Mountain”.
Then the land had rest from war.
Caleb declared “12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day;
He went forward and took the land at the age of 85, drove out the giants and took possession.
Don’t Park Here!
Today, I want to counsel you that your age is only a number. You are a spirit being and your spirit in not old. You can basically do all that God has ordained for your life, even if you are in what they call the twilight years of your life. Ronald Regan became president of America in his 70s, Colonel Sanders started Kentucky fried chicken in his 60s, and how about Noah, he got a commission form the Lord at age 500 and spent another 100 years building the ark. He went on to live for over 900 years. What’s your excuse?
Don’t Park. Keep moving and get new set of wheels. The best is just ahead, not behind you.