Because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly… Joshua 14:14
A man truly worthy of the title of ‘hero’ is a man named Caleb. Caleb, along with Joshua, was one of the twelve spies sent to spy out the land God had promised to the Israelites after their deliverance from Egypt. Only these two stood against the majority opinion because they believed God. God promised Caleb that he would inherit the land his walked on because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.
Now at eighty-five years of age Caleb reminds Joshua of that promise and declares, “I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day…the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as He said.” It was not merely the incredible courage and resolve of this man of eighty-five years that made him a hero in my eyes. It was his
No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much…and with them, persecutions. (Mark 29-30)
There are certain true heroes of the faith that most of us look upon with great admiration, yet if it came down to it, we would probably not be highly motivated to imitate them because they lived such a difficult life, and often a relatively short life. Many of the Twelve fall into that category. Adoniram Judson is a more recent example of that.
His biography was one of the first biographies I ever read as a youth. Here was a man whose suffering did not deter him from the calling God gave him for Burma (now Myanmar), a disease-ridden and hostile country between India and Thailand. So what is it about Adoniram Judson that would lead him to leave a comfortable life and choose such a life far from home and family?
Remember, true heroes are ordinary men and women who do extraordinary things to promote truth, integrity, justice, righteousness and humility for the good of others. They are committed to a greater cause beyond themselves, and they are willing to put their lives on the line for that noble cause regardless of personal cost, public sentiment or outside pressure to do otherwise. So, let me share just a small part of Judson’s life and ministry. As you read decide for yourself if he and his wife do not, in fact, describe true heroism in God’s eyes—and yours.
During one children’s program, several children were asked about their families. When asked who his hero was, one young boy responded without hesitation, “My Dad!” What can give greater joy than to hear a child or grandchild make a statement like that?
Unfortunately, far too many children are growing up in a fatherless environment, and in the absence of a father or grandfather hero they have adopted heroes that aren’t really heroes at all.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (I Cor. 13:11)
What do you believe about adolescence? Do you know where this idea originated? How has it impacted society and the church?
Prior to the 20th century there was no stage in life known as adolescence. Children became adults often through some kind of rite of passage, whether formal or informal. The idea of adolescence was a foreign concept, but it is now one that engulfs our society.