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Two Grand Old Men.

Two Grand Old Men.

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Joshua xiii. 1 ; xiv. 6-13.
Joshua xiii. 1 ; xiv. 6-13.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 28, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Joshua xiii. 1 ; xiv. 6-13.I WAT to speak, dear friends, briefly about these two men,Joshua and Caleb. We will give the old men their inningsto-night. These were two old men, two grand old men,undoubtedly. Out of the mouths of these two witnesseslet every word be established — every word I mean of Chris-tian promise, of Christian faith, and of Christian hope andhopefulness. For I think, and I suppose that most of youwill agree with me, that the best of all Christian evidencesis a well-kept old man— a hale, hearty, flourishing Chris-tian old man. I cannot find any better testimony to thepresence, power, and purpose of the great God who madeus and sent us into this world.First of all, Joshua will, as it were, come into the witness-box and testify to us ; and then we will hear what Caleb hasto say. And though, of course, I am speaking of old men,I am not speaking altogether directly to them. I amVol. III.— o. 26.394 TWO GEAD OLD ME.speaking in the audience of you all. I trust that the agedwill be encouraged to cleave closely to the Lord their God ;and I trust also that those who are bearing the burden andheat of the day will encourage themselves in God. And Ihope that, particularly the young men, those who are inlife's morning march, and have all the way to travel yet,and all the battle to fight, will be encouraged as we hearwhat God says about these old veterans, and what they sayin their turn about God.Joshua is unlike Caleb, in that, you notice, he is notspeaking for himself ; and Caleb speaks for himself. Joshuahas his case stated, and explained, and illustrated by theLord. Before this, he had made the great decision. I am
not sure whether all of us have made it. Joshua made it.Long years before this he decided for God, for truth, forholiness. He turned his back upon the ambitions of self,and self-interast, and time, and gave himself over to theLord God of Israel for time and for eternity.Well, what happens in the end ? We pass over all thathas come and gone in the years between. This first passageopens, " ow Joshua was old and stricken in years ; andthe Lord said unto him. Thou art old and stricken in years,and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed."ow, my aged friend, I wish you would take the comfortout of that. God speaks to you, and God speaks /or you to-day , in your advancing years, even as He did in the beginning,when first of all, by His grace. He called you to Himself tobe " a soldier of the Cross, a follower of the Lamb."" You are getting old," He says, "you are stricken in years."TWO GRAD OLD ME. 895It is as if He came, like a wise physician, and felt yourpulse, and diagnosed your condition, and said to you, " Donot fear; do not fail ; do not shrink. I know that the greyhairs have come. I know that your step is failing. I knowthat your eyes are waxing dim. I know that your powers arebeginning to get feebler. I know that time and trouble, andthe hurly-burly, and the tear and wear have begun to tellon you. But let your comfort be found here — that I knowit. It is all within My ken ; it is all under My eye; it is allwithin My gracious hands. I knew you from the first. Iknow you as intimately and well now as ever I did."** Even to old age I am He, and to grey hairs I will carryyou ; for I have made, and I will bear ; yea, I will carryand will deliver thee, saith the Lord." I think that is help-ful and encouraging for those who find themselves far alongthe track— who find that the road is beginning to getlonely — who find that they are more at home in thegraveyard now than among the busy haunts of men.You are like one who sits up far into the night, and sees thelights in the neighbours' houses go out one by one. Thesilence and the darkness deepen all around you, and youare sitting, maybe, sad and silent and lonely, when lo ! avoice breaks in. It is God's voice. The Lord said untoJoshua, " Joshua, come up into My arms. When you werestrong and well you acted the part of a strong, stalwart, and
hardy man. You lived for Me; you toiled for Me; youmoiled for Me ; you fought for Me years on end. Do youthink that I will cast you off now ? Hear Me, Joshua,never was I nearer than now.395 TWO GRAD OLD ME.* When life is dull, and spirits low,And all the wheels of being slow.' ''That is the portion of you old people, who feel, as God sayshere about Joshua, that time has told, and that you arebeing pulled down ; that you are not just the man you oncewere. You cannot say what Caleb says. It seems as if Caleb was a much brighter specimen. We will turn tohim by-and-bye. He said, "I defy the ravages of time."" Time," says Caleb, " makes no impression on me. Forty-five years have made no difference to me. I go for theAnakims to-day. I want to be at them as heartily as if ithad been forty years before." But I like to cherish theidea that Joshua is not just one of those miraculous oldmen who never seem to grow old. Joshua was " old andstricken in years." Joshua was a man upon whom thecare and wear told. Joshua was intense. Joshua feltchings — was like some of us, a bundle of keen, quick nervesand sensibihties. He was not an old man, if we reckonhim by years, as old men went then ; but he was aged justlike you ; it was telling upon him. And here is a blessingfor old age when it is felt to be somewhat of a burden.When one has lived a busy, pell-mell, active live, and feelsthat he is being " sent to the rear," then God comes in.In the time of age and sorrow, His light is seen like themoon rising over the harvest field. As our poet says."So to our souls the Lord of love and mightSends harvest hours Avhen daylight disappears."When age and sorrow, like the coming night.Darken our field of work with doubts and fearsGod times the presence of His heavenly light,To rise up softly o'er our silver hairs."

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