March 22: perks (Joshua 12-14; 1 Corinthians 7)

Give me this hill country.

That’s not how it is supposed to work, is it? Caleb was the early investor. When Moses first brought the people to the edge of the Promised Land, Caleb, Joshua and ten others were sent ahead to see what awaited them. Everyone but Caleb and Joshua said it would be too hard and too dangerous for the people to enter the Promised Land. As a result, they all wandered in the wilderness for another forty years until everyone who had been to the edge of the Promised Land died. Everyone but Caleb and Joshua. They remained faithful. When Moses died, Joshua became the leader. What did Caleb get? He got to enter the Promised Land along with everyone else. He got to fight in battle after battle and watch as territory after territory was parcelled out to each of the tribes.

He was the early investor. Shouldn’t he get first pick of where to live? Shouldn’t there be some perk for the only one who believed, the only one courageous enough to choose what God had promised? That’s how we expect it to work. The early invest takes the risk and gets the best return on the investment. There ought to be some reward, some benefit. We look for perks! (I love perks – another punch and I’ll get a free meal!)

Not until chapter fourteen of Joshua does Caleb get his chance. Where do you want to live? What property will you choose? “Give me this hill country.” (verse 12) What?! Not beach front property or the valley where there is plenty of food or something by the river? Caleb, you are 85 years old. Take it easy. You’ve accomplished so much more than anyone else. You deserve to rest.

According to the scripture, Caleb is the LAST one to receive and instead of choosing the best property, he chooses “hill country”. Why do you suppose no one else had claimed the “hill country”? But Caleb does. He says he is 85 and as strong as he was when he was 40. To claim the hill country will require one more battle.

There is much we can learn from Caleb. Would that my life could be summarized with such words as we find in Joshua 14:14.He followed the LORD, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly.To be remembered as Caleb was remembered. To leave that kind of legacy. That’s a perk worthy of a faithful life.

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