The Book of Joshua is not a biography of Joshua in the strictest sense, but it certainly reveals to us a great deal about this Godly man, Joshua. Like the rest of the OT, this Book was written both to warn us (I Corinthians 10:11) and to encourage us (Romans 15:4). Therefore, we ought to take time to review Joshua’s life and ministry and learn from him lessons that will help us know the Lord God and serve Him more effectively.
Joshua represents and encourages every Second-Generation Leader. He did not establish the Nation of Israel, Moses did. But Joshua succeeded Moses respectfully and naturally on Moses’ death (Joshua 1:1-2; Numbers 27:15-23; Deuteronomy 34:9). He finished the work Moses could not complete and led the people of Israel to victory in the Promised Land. Joshua challenges us to lay hold of God’s Promises and walk in His victory despite adversities. We will learn several valuable lessons from this Leader, Joshua.
During Moses’ day, God patiently waited for the New Generation to mature so He (God) could lead them into the Promised Land. By the time Joshua takes over, God speaks in a straightforward manner to Israel’s Commanding Officer, Joshua. God had grown weary of His people’s disobedience, hesitance, and complaints. God challenges Joshua not to swerve to the right or to the left, but to do all that He commanded. Joshua must not compromise but fulfil everything (Joshua 1:1-9). Clearly, we see God leads in the new and appropriate style for the times. His people were entering the season in which they needed to act as a military unit, so both God and Joshua provide direction in a military style. Lessons in Leadership:
- Difficult times demand a different style of Leadership
- Good Leaders help their people remember past blessings and Divine Victories
- Leaders must be willing to take risks and pay the price, courage elicits commitment
- Compromise on your methods, but never on your Convictions or Principles
- Good Leaders do whatever it takes to get the job done.
From Exodus 3 to Deuteronomy 34, the Bible focuses attention on the life and ministry of Moses, God’s chosen Servant to lead the Nation of Israel. But Moses died; and though he (Moses) is not forgotten (Moses is named 57 times in the Book of Joshua and his official title “Servant of the LORD” is mentioned 13 times), Joshua took over the place of Moses – Joshua 1:1-2 (KJV) “Now after the death of Moses, the Servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke unto Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses My Servant, is dead; now therefore arise, go over the Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the Children of Israel.” – Joshua is called the “Servant of the LORD” (Joshua 24:29; Judges 2:8). God buries His Servant (Moses), but His work goes on. We should note that this change in Leadership carries with it a tremendous spiritual lesson for Believers who want to experience God’s best in their lives. God’s Word exhorts us to honor the elderly in our midst: “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere God, I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:32, NIV).
Point 1 – Joshua’s Preparation
We will never be able to lead others into victory if we do not walk in it ourselves. Every area of victory that results from trials we have personally endured can be applied to the lives of others. There is no “hard place” that the Believer walks through (if yielded to God) that will be in vain. God always places “new deposits” in us through struggles that brings God’s life and encouragement to others. When God wants to accomplish something, He prepares His Servant for the task and prepares the task for His Servant. God spent many years preparing Joshua for his ministry. He was born into slavery in Egypt and was given the name Hoshea (Numbers 13:8), which means “Salvation.” Moses later changed it to Joshua (Numbers 13:16). Joshua means “Jehovah is Salvation,” which is the Hebrew form of “Jesus” (Matthew 1:21; Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8). When his (Joshua’s) Parents gave him the name “Hoshea (Salvation)” they were bearing witness to their faith in God’s Promise of Redemption (Genesis 15:12-16; 50:24-26). Joshua belonged to the Tribe of Ephraim and was the firstborn son of Nun (1Chronicles 7:20-27). This meant that his life was in danger the night of Passover, but he had faith in the LORD and was protected by the blood of the lamb (Exodus 11-12). While in Egypt, Joshua saw the Signs and Wonders that God performed (Exodus 7-12) and he knew that Jehovah (The LORD) is God of Power who would care for His People. The LORD has defeated the gods of Egypt and demonstrated that He alone is the God of Israel (Exodus 12:12; Numbers 33:4) – Joshua saw the LORD opened the Red Sea to lead the Children of Israel crossed, on dry land, and then close the waters and drowned the pursuing Egyptians Army (Exodus 14-15). Joshua is a man of faith who knew the LORD and trusted Him to do Wonders for His People. The LORD prepares Joshua in three periods:
- Forty Years in Egypt.
- Forty Years in the Wilderness wandering with Moses and the First Generation of the Children of Israel (Numbers 14:29, 30b, 32 -35).
- Twenty-five Years in subduing the Seven Nations in the Promised Land – the Canaanites, the Amorite, the Hittites, the Perizzite, the Hivite, the Jebusite (Exodus 33:2) and the Gibeonites (Joshua 9). Joshua died at the age of 110 years old (Joshua 24:29).
Stay Tuned….. To be continued