Shiju John, Trainer and Counselor, BCTI
One of the twelve agents of the Jewish kingdom (on the move) might have been more daring than the modern day fictional character ‘007’. At the age of forty this Jewish agent went on an incredible spying job, brought in a ‘too good to believe’ report and thereby made himself eligible for a magnificent prize ‘to be awarded in future’. He hunted down his reward in just another 45 years! You might have guessed, I am talking about Mr. Caleb Jephunneh. The narration is found in Joshua 14. This is an example of perseverance and a story of a promise hunter who had along with his friend Joshua came up with a daring minority report. These two men did not care about the majority opinion but despite the odds against them presented the report and outlived an entire generation of sceptics.
Caleb would have easily succumbed to the ordeal of forty five years of wilderness just like his contemporaries, but for his strong faith and trust in God’s promises and faithfulness. There was also something about him that was radically different, he was a cliff hanger. He loved to climb the promise-mountains of God bearing the attributes that God eagerly sought in His people and by clinging to the promises of God irrespective of the majority opinion he helped make the promised land a reality. The Word records ‘Caleb followed the God of Israel, wholeheartedly and so Hebron has belonged to him’. Hebron didn’t belong to Caleb when he conquered it at age eighty five but the land was his at age forty when he spied Canaan and trusted that God has given it to Israel. Hebron belonged to him when he put forward every step for the next forty five years by following the Lord wholeheartedly.
Here is an 85 year old still strong to go after his promise. Today we hear about young men and women, who are high on energy and with adventurous spirits suffering from anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Many among them even attempt suicide and succeed. Proverbs 13:12 gives the clue to the problem, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…”
A heart which has lost hope is sick indeed. Dr. Ravi Zacharias, in his book The Grand Weaver, quotes from a nineteenth century poet Frances Browne:
Thine, stranger, is life’s last and heaviest loss!
For the believing heart has gone from thee.
A heart which puts hope in the flesh and not in God is destined to go bankrupt on hope. Such a heart is vulnerable to anxiety, fear, depression and suicidal thoughts. Age is not a bar to such heart diseases and so also age is not a barrier to become a hope clinger. Let us be rejuvenated by waiting upon the Lord with a heart filled with hope. Hope is founded on Christ; our Rock for our Living Redeemer is a promise maker and a promise keeper. So, come let us be promise hunters who hunt down the promises of God that are “yes and amen in Christ Jesus”.