Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.”
Joshua 14: 12
King James Version
“Features of a Father” –Part 4
“The faithful person lives constantly with God; (she) is always serious and joyful; serious because (she) remembers God, joyful because (she) dreams of all the good things that God has given.”
Clement of Alexandria
Do I believe that my heavenly Father is faithful from the beginning to the end in my life?”
“God did not call us to be successful, but to be faithful.”
“The Lord rewards faithfulness above fruitfulness, which puts us all on the same footing, whether famous for our effectiveness or unknown in our faithfulness.”
I want to invite you to eavesdrop with me on a conversation that very well may have taken place between two close friends, Caleb and Joshua. Asked by Moses to be part of a spy troop, they entered the land of Canaan to scout out the cities and the people who inhabited the country. In Numbers 13 we are told that the “children of Anak” lived in walled cities, which seemed impossible to capture. What’s more, in Numbers 13: 33, the Bible says that the “sons of Anak,” were giants. In fact, in comparison to these mighty men, the Israelites described themselves as “grasshoppers.” Quite a contrast. Sounds as though with one step, the giant could squish the insect!
For a moment, let’s listen in on the discussion Caleb and Joshua might have had as they sized-up the challenge they faced:
Caleb: Those boys of Anak are BIG!
Joshua: That’s an understatement! And Caleb, what do you think about the walls
around their cities?
Caleb: Jericho had a wall, too. Remember how God handled that situation? The
walls came tumbling down.
Joshua: Thanks for reminding me, my friend. With God, all things are possible.
Caleb: You know Joshua, if our God can take care of the walls of the city, He can take
care of the giants, too! I’m not worried at all.
This was the way Joshua and Caleb talked about walled cities and giants when they were men in their prime.
Now, let’s roll the clock ahead forty + years. Both men had spent forty years in the desert, and now, as elderly warriors, God’s promise to them, to possess the Promised Land, was about to come true. They were to receive their own, personal inheritance.
STOP! Here’s one of those places where we need to take note about several important facts. Remember, it wasn’t Caleb and Joshua who complained and grumbled. They saw the challenges that were in Canaan but they knew their God was bigger than any challenge the people of Canaan could throw at them. Yet, when God said that the children of Israel who grumbled would not enter Canaan and would die in the wilderness, Caleb and Joshua and their families had to stay in the desert, too. For forty years they lived with God’s promise, found in Numbers 14:38, “But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, lived still.” God kept His promise that Caleb and Joshua would not only enter the Promised Land but that they would receive their inheritance. However, and this is so critical, they had to wait forty years! This is a long time to wait for your dreams to come true. But these faithful children of God never gave up, never let go, never fell by the wayside. They waited 40 years!
And here’s the absolute wonder of this story.
When Caleb came to his dear friend Joshua, to receive his inheritance, an elderly man nearing the end of his life, he asked for the mountain where the cities were walled and the giant Anakims lived!
I love it – don’t you! Caleb saw the giants and walled cities when he was 40-years-old and knew then his God was big enough to overcome any threat from giants and fenced cities. Forty-five years later, when Caleb had seen more of His God’s power and strength and love – he knew that even though he was much older, his Father’s strength was the same. What’s more, Caleb knew that the faithfulness of His Father was the same from beginning to end. So he asked for the mountain with its walled cities and for the task of removing the giants from the land – in the power of God.
Our feature of a father today is that He is faithful from beginning to end. Just like Caleb was faithful in the young years of his life, knowing his mighty Father could conquer any terrifying giant in his life, he also remained faithful as his life progressed so that near the end of his life, in the boldness of his God, he could shout aloud, “Give me the giants. Give me the walled cities. Give me the mountain! Nothing is too big for my God!”
I have to tell you, I pray that every day of my life, my trust in my heavenly Father will grow like Caleb’s trust. So that at the end of my life, I too will be able to shout, “Give me the giant,” with no fear because as I have walked with my Father each day I have learned He is faithful from the beginning to the end.
Perhaps today you are, like Caleb and Joshua, wandering in the wilderness of your life, waiting to see with your own eyes God’s promise fulfilled in your life and His inheritance fill your hands. Our God is faithful, for He who has promised, never lets His children down.
In the comforting words of the great preacher C. H. Spurgeon, “Our longest sorrows have an ending, and there is a bottom to the profoundest depths of our misery. Our winters shall not frown forever; summer shall soon smile. The tide shall not eternally ebb out; the floods must retrace their march. The night shall not hand its darkness forever over our souls the sun shall yet arise with healing beneath its wings.”
The feature of our Father – He is faithful from beginning to end. As the courageous missionary to China, Hudson Taylor, found out from personal experience, “All God’s giants have been weak men and women, who did great things for God because they believed that God would be with them.” And I’ll add, from the beginning to the end!
“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, His merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning, How great Your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over) He’s all I’ve got left.’”
Lamentations 3: 22 -24
The Message Bible
“He who calls you…is faithful.”
I Thessalonians 5: 24
King James Version
“Enable us, O Lord God, to walk in Thy way with integrity and cheerfulness, faithfully believing Thy word and faithfully doing Thy commandments, faithfully worshipping Thee and faithfully serving our neighbour, in the Name of Thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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