Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said to him…
I. IT IS GOD THAT KEEPETH US ALIVE. The Scriptures often remind us of this, and urge it as a motive to religious fear, gratitude, and obedience. They teach us "that in Him we live and move and have our being: that in Him is the breath of every living thing and the spirit of all mankind"; that He gave it at first and that He taketh it away. More particularly, God preserveth us from many accidents that would be fatal to us. "He giveth His angels charge over us, to keep us in all our ways."
II. THE AGED HAVE PECULIAR REASON TO MAKE THIS ACKNOWLEDGMENT. When any arrive at old age, it is proper to do this, with peculiar seriousness and gratitude; considering that, like Caleb, they have been wandering all their days in a wilderness. Dangers surround us on every side. The aged cannot but often reflect upon this; what numbers they have survived! Their own infirmities render the acknowledgment of God's preservation of them almost natural and peculiarly proper.
III. IT IS A GREAT SATISFACTION TO AGED CHRISTIANS TO REFLECT ON THEIR OBEDIENCE TO GOD, AND THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF HIS PROMISES TO THEM. They recollect with gratitude and delight, that grace, which began, maintained and improved the Divine life in their souls, amidst innumerable temptations, from without and within; and though they have fallen into trouble, they have been prevented from making shipwreck of faith and a good conscience. It is pleasant to them to trace up all these streams to the fountain; to consider them as the displays of rich and free grace; as the accomplishment of the promises of God, and proofs of His fidelity. Their mercies were sweet in the enjoyment, and are sweet in the reflection, when they consider them as founded on the covenant of grace, made with all true believers through Christ Jesus.
IV. THE EXPERIENCE WHICH AGED SAINTS HAVE HAD OF GOD'S GOODNESS AND FAITHFULNESS IS A STRONG ENCOURAGEMENT TO THEM TO HOPE AND TRUST IN HIM. Application:
1. Let us all re, member our constant dependence upon God, and learn those useful instructions which that is adapted to teach us.
2. What hath been said should be an inducement to young persons to follow the Lord fully. Instead of "possessing the iniquities of your youth," you will have unspeakable pleasure in being able to appeal to God, with Hezekiah, "that you have walked before Him in truth, and with an upright heart, and have done that which was good in His sight."
3. The example of Caleb is worthy the imitation of aged Christians. When, like Caleb, you are mentioning your age, your contemporaries, or what happened in the former part of your lives, let it be done with seriousness, with an humble and thankful acknowledgment of God. Further, let the remainder of your lives be faithfully devoted to God's service. One important branch of this is humbly to relate your own experience for the instruction and consolation of others.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.
WEB: Then the children of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal. Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You know the thing that Yahweh spoke to Moses the man of God concerning me and concerning you in Kadesh Barnea.