Concerned about the Future
7. Succession Process
“There is no Success without a Successor” – Joshua remained submissive to the Divine chain of care. He never once attempted to displace Moses’ Leadership, even when Moses had grown old and could no longer do what Joshua could do. Joshua waited until his time come, just as David waited for King Saul to leave the scene. Saul was killed in battle (1Samuel 31) and then the Elders of Israel came to Anoint David, King over the united Israel (2Samuel 5:3; 1Chronicles 11:3).
Secondly, Joshua learned to be strong and courageous in his own style of Leadership. At the onset on the Book of Joshua, God commands Joshua to take courage. “Moses my Servant is dead” (Joshua 1:1-2), God says to him, “Now therefore, arise and go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them – the children of Israel” (Joshua 1:2). Joshua was the Military Leader, different from Moses’ Diplomatic or Reform Leadership Style, so, Joshua has to decide not to imitate Moses’ Style, but to be himself. The timing could not have been more perfect. Joshua entered Leadership in the Season when Israel needed Military Leadership, not Diplomatic Leadership.
8. Joshua’s Lesson
The Practical Lesson of the Book of Joshua is that God keeps His Promises and enables His Servant to be Successful if His Servant trust Him and obey His Word. Also, the lesson is that God has a rich Inheritance for His Children now, and they can claim it by faith. This lesson is amplified in the Book of Joshua, especially chapters 3 and 4. We have seen that, when it comes to the things of the LORD, there are several kinds of People in this world:
- Many People are still in World and need to walk in faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Others have trusted Christ and been delivered from bondage but are wandering in the wilderness of unbelief because they would not enter their Inheritance by Faith.
- Still others have “sampled” the Inheritance but prefer to live on the borders of the blessing (the two-half tribes of Israel, on the East bank of Jordan – Reuben, Gad, and half-tribe of Manasseh).
- Finally, there are those who follow their Joshua (Jesus = “Jehovah is Salvation”) and enter the Promised Land and claim their Inheritance.
Remember, Crossing the Jordan River and Entering the Land is the picture of dying to self and the old life and entering our spiritual inheritance here and now, enjoying the fullness of God’s blessing as we serve the LORD and Glorify Him. It is what Hebrews 4 and 5 call “entering into His (God’s) Rest.” The greatest need in the Church today is for God’s People to see how much they are missing by wandering in unbelief, or by living on the borderline of the blessing, and then to claim God’s Promises and enter our spiritual Inheritance. We are a deprived People because we have failed to claim our spiritual riches; and we are a defeated people because we have failed to trust our Joshua (Jesus) to lead us on to victory. Too many of us are like Achan, stealing from God, when we ought to be like Caleb, claiming the mountains and overcoming the giants.
9. Joshua’s God
The LORD, not Joshua is the key Person in the Book of Joshua. As we read the Book of Joshua, we discover many wonderful truths about God. To begin with, He is the God of His People, Israel, the God of the Covenant that He made with Israel through Abraham and confirmed in Isaac and Jacob and Israel (Psalm 105:8-15; 1Chronicles 16:15-22) and executed by Moses. Though Moses is dead, the Living God is still at work in and through His Chosen People, Israel. When Joshua commanded the People, he often call God “the LORD your God.” Israel belongs to Him.
- But God is also “the LORD of all the earth” (Joshua 3:11). While He has a special relationship with Israel, He established that relationship to bring His blessing to all the Nations (Genesis 12:1-3). The Nations in Canaan Land heard about what God had done for Israel, and they were afraid (Joshua 2:10-11); for none of their gods had ever done such mighty deeds.
- The LORD is the God who keeps His Promises. He has promised the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) of the Jewish Nation that He would give them their Land, and He kept His Promise (Psalm 105:8-15; 1Chronicles 16:15-22).
- The LORD has promised Moses that Israel would drive out the Nations in Canaan Land and defeat them, and He kept that Promise too. At the close of his life, Joshua was able to say to his People that not one thing had failed of all the good things that the LORD their God spoke concerning them – Joshua 23:14 (NKJV) “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.”
- The LORD is the Holy God, who will not tolerate sin. When Achan disobeyed, the ban that God has put on Jericho, God withdrew His Protection. The Army of Israel was defeated at Ai, and they could not expect victory until Joshua dealt with the sin in the Camp. But He is also the Forgiving God who cleanses us when we confess our sins (1John 1:9), and then gives us another opportunity for victory.
- The LORD is a God who requires on the part of His People – before Israel could enter the Land, they had to submit to the requirements that God had laid down; for they were His Covenant People. The LORD told Joshua that the Secret of his Success would be Faith and Obedience to God’s Word. God had the Plan for the Conquest of the Land; all Joshua had to do was obey that Plan.
- The LORD is the God who never fails! We may fail Him, but He will never fail us. “When God ordains our Service,” wrote J.Oswald Sanders, “He is morally obligated to see us through” (Robust in Faith, p.72).
Summary: Joshua: Picture of the Faithful Leader
Joshua provides the good example of the Leader whose Faithfulness prompted God to raise him up. Over the three divisions of his life (40years in Egypt; 40 years in the Wilderness; 30 years in Canaan), God gradually moved this trustworthy man into Leadership. The Signs of Joshua’s Faithfulness:
- Obedience – Exodus 17:18-16; Numbers 32:10-12.
- Servanthood – Exodus 23:13; Joshua 11:15.
- Loyalty – Exodus 33:11; Numbers 11:24-30.
- Courage – Numbers 13:8, 16, 25-30; 14:5-10.
- Promotion – Numbers 27:15-23; Deuteronomy 34:9
- Responsibility – Deuteronomy 31:7,8.
- Power – Deuteronomy 34:9.
- Credibility – Deuteronomy34:9.
Joshua’s Faithfulness challenges us even today to lead as he did – Joshua spied out the same Land at the same time as the other ten Spies, but he and Caleb returned with a different report (Numbers chapters 13 & 14). Joshua lived ahead of his time (Numbers 13 & 14). Joshua faced several challenges: He followed Moses in the Wilderness Journey; he has to cross the Jordan River at the time of the flood (Joshua 3:15) – Joshua had to conquer mighty Jericho. When Israel began to make progress in taking the Promised Land, some disobeyed God and brought defeat on the Nation, Joshua overcame it all – the defeat at Ai (Joshua 7) and the compromise with the Gibeonites (Joshua 9). Joshua’s dream, his determination, and his ability to develop his Leadership skills enabled him to soar beyond his own Personal Gifts (Joshua 23 & 24).