Week of Monday, April 18 – Sunday, April 24
Dynamic Duo – Man as Battle Buddy

Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea concerning you and me.” – Joshua 14:6 ESV
When you hear the words “dynamic duo,” do you think of comic book heroes? Most people do. However, I think of Joshua and Caleb. In the annals of Bible history to this point, there was no more powerful pair of warriors. By now, they’ve been soldiering together for nearly a half-century. There’s a long track record of blood and battle scars, of facing enormous difficulties together, of experiencing victory after victory together with the help of their God. By now these two war-seasoned veterans knew each other especially well, having been battle buddies for years, both spiritually and militarily. These men had fought side-by-side in at least six major battles before they even entered the promised land. Since then, they had been on numerous combat missions together.
There were more battles to come, but by the time we get to the end of Joshua 13, the main-force opposition had been broken. Now only the toughest enemy strongholds remained. This last and most difficult part of the campaign is the background for Caleb’s conversation with Joshua in chapter 14. Picture these two seasoned warriors sitting around a campfire in the desert on a starry night before they and their troops cross the line of departure for this final major mission together. 
Don’t skip over Caleb’s words to Joshua: “You and me.” There is nearly a lifetime of loyalty behind those words. They represent a full career of battlefield allegiance, camaraderie, and shared hardship and danger. These two old soldiers have had each other’s backs for decades now. Once more these battle buddies are poised to step into the fray—together. 
Also don’t miss the fact that Caleb is now at the remarkable age of 85 (14:10)! Caleb was the Tom Brady of the ancient Israeli Defense Force and destined for its Hall of Fame. When it came to the battlefield, Caleb was indeed in the running for G.O.A.T. And the only friendly competition was his battle buddy Joshua. Warfare in the ancient Near East was mostly bows and arrows, spears and javelins, swords and shields powered by biceps and triceps, pecs and delts, gluts and quads. Human muscle was coupled with lethal weapons, fighting skill and a lot of courage, grit, and determination. In such a world, for a man to be battle-fit for more than a decade took some doing. Military “careers” tended to be short-lived more often than not. 
Not so with Caleb—He was still a strong and courageous man, a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. He wasn’t bragging but stating facts when he declared: “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” (v. 11). You might say that Caleb was an iron man before there was an Iron Age. 
Remarkably, Caleb doesn’t ask Joshua for a discharge. He’s not ready to retire. No, he asks for the toughest assignment left on the map, the one with the biggest and baddest of the enemy entrenched in fortified hill country cities. Yet it was the place God had promised him. With that promise came the hope of God’s presence: “It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said” (v. 12). Caleb fully relied on God’s presence and power, not just on his superior skill and ability. Yet Caleb knew he might march up that mountain and never make it back. Such is the lot and life of a warrior.
So here are these life-long battle buddies on the eve of another campaign, the last major one for Caleb. In the light of the flickering campfire, you can almost see the fire in Caleb’s eyes as he relishes the fight, you can almost hear the confidence he has in their God, you can almost sense the camaraderie between these two battle buddies as Caleb speaks from his heart to Joshua: “You and me, old friend. You and me, against all odds, against walled cities, against giants. You and me, for God and country. You and me, with heaven’s help and no holding back. You and me, one more time, together!” 
“You and me . . .” Simple but powerful words and the essence of the battle buddy relationship with another man. Have you got a battle buddy like that? By all means, find and develop one!
  • At the end of the day, old Caleb understood even his exceptional physical fitness, fighting skill, and fortitude would only carry the day if God was with him and enabled him to prevail. He and Joshua were alike in that. Above all they trusted in their God. What battle are you facing right now that requires that kind of faith to prevail?
  • Do you have a Joshua or a Caleb in your life? A man with whom you can be completely transparent based on mutual trust over time? What steps do you need to take to develop such a relationship?
  • Ask God to help you solidify that battle buddy relationship in your life.