“A long time afterward, when the LORD had given rest to Israel from all their surrounding enemies, and Joshua was old and well advanced in years, Joshua summoned all Israel,.. and said to them, ‘I am now old and well advanced in years. And you have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the LORD your God who has fought for you. Behold, I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. The LORD your God will push them back before you and drive them out of your sight. And you shall possess their land, just as the LORD your God promised you… The LORD has driven out before you great and strong nations. And as for you, no man has been able to stand before you to this day. One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the LORD your God who fights for you, just as he promised you. Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God… And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.'” Joshua 23:1-5,9-11,14
I imagine, if Joshua had another heart, that idleness after years of military pursuit would have lent itself to much gloating, stories of great victories grown greater, exaggerated brags of his stellar strategizing, his remarkable leadership, his well-deserved rest. But Joshua was not as so many others; he was God’s man, through and through, and when advanced in years, he showed himself advanced in gratitude to and love for his LORD. His faith was firm in Him, his words exalted Him, his life was hid in Him.
While God had temporarily given rest to Israel, Joshua knew the land that was still to be conquered had already been claimed. He would not rest on his laurels, but with confidence in this Commander and Victor he knew so well, and with every last breath would remind God’s people of God’s greatness, power, mercies, and promises. His every I is swallowed up in the LORD.
As we advance in life and experience, what, or who, consumes us? In what place are we resting, the boundaried-camp of self, or the high sanctuary of the LORD? Do we feed our personal image so that I grows bigger than my Maker? Do I relish the praises of others instead of turning them to the Deserving One? Why are we prone to take a call from God, but then take credit, upon its achievement, for ourselves?
My covenant LORD, You are faithful and will not fail. May my advancing years advance Your glory, honor, and praise.