In reading through the book of Joshua in scripture this summer, I was stirred by the life of Caleb. He was an example to God’s people then and he is an example to us now. I have written this prayer based on Joshua 14:6-15. Of Caleb, a warrior for God. This message is still to us today, sisters in Christ!
Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:7-8
In Christ’s love, Erika
O Lord, my God,
I stand here today, much older than I once was. All of those years ago, I trusted and followed you through the direction of a godly man. You had shown yourself true, and I believed. You were making us into a holy people through obedience and trials. You said you would give us an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey. Who could imagine such a place!
Yet when I laid eyes on the promised land all those years ago, I realized that it was more than I could have even imagined. For hundreds of years, we broke our backs making bricks in the Egyptian sun–hard labor with little reward. But you sent a deliverer! Salvation! You miraculously led us out of slavery, still we longed to dwell in a home. We were a traveling company and we lived tentatively. You promised us a future, and some trusted you and some were false followers.
Now here we are, taking this land you promised. You said this land would be our inheritance: a place we would eat our fill of fruit trees–trees laden with huge, unspeakable bounty–trees we did not plant nor tend from saplings. You said we would drink sweet water from cisterns someone else’s hands dug. The work had been done, the harvest was ready, and you said we would be the benefactors! How great is our God!
Joshua and I came back to report to the people what was in our hearts. We saw your goodness on the land and we believed you at your word, that you would give us the land you promised!
Yet when others saw the land, all they saw was a problemed land. They saw there were giants in the land and that it would require a fight to take ground. They assumed you, O God, were playing a cruel trick on us by leading us into the dessert, teasing us with an inheritance, and that you would forsake your word and abandon us to the proverbial wolves. But this is not your way! You protect your own, you will redeem the remnant. The gates of hell shall not prevail upon your people! May we believe this in our very core and act on that belief.
When the other 10 spies gave their report, it made the hearts of the people melt with fear. Joshua and I pleaded with the people to trust you, our great God who had brought us this far! But they were not persuaded. They did not live with eyes of faith, but rather the fear of man. Yet by your grace, I wholly followed the Lord my God. I lived all of my days with an eye on the prize. Though the people around me, my kin, my loved ones shrunk back in doubt, I could not disdain what you had promised. And you are always faithful!
Upon entering the land and for 45 years since, we have fought to take ground for you. You made us victorious, and now we are ready to settle and put down roots. I have fought today just as I fought all of those years ago. I have not given into idleness nor abandoned my responsibilities. I have seen the work through to the finish. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. I give you all of the glory and praise, O God!
Thank you for working out faith in me! Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God who is mighty to save.
When you return–and you WILL return, you will melt the hearts of the kings of the earth (the Prime Ministers, the Presidents, the Supreme Leaders). May I stand all of my days with the one who is to be rightly feared, the Lord God Almighty!
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9