A Lesson Learnt From One Man’s Life

Friday 8th March

Joshua 1:9, 1:13, 3:9, 5:15, 6:20-21, 21:43-45, 24:15

The closing study of Joshua’s life ends with a summary of all the lessons we have learnt from this Godly obedient servant of God. So often in this wonderful book we read of God’s instruction and Joshua’s deliverance of those instructions to His people and how God truly was him in every step of the journey into and whilst conquering the land promised to his forefathers. Above are key verses in the book of Joshua that highlight his obedience, servant heartedness and submission to God’s voice and direction in his life.

Two of those verses mentioned above have really stood out to me during this journey through Joshua’s life. The first is Joshua 5:15 and the second is Joshua 21:43-45.

We read in Joshua chapter 5, verses 13-15 of the commander of the Lord’s army. Although we have already discussed this topic I wanted to bring to your attention another key lesson that I feel we can learn from and replicate in our lives. The key to leadership is submission. Joshua was commissioned to lead. His role was clear. He was a leader. The people already submitted to his leadership in chapter 1 after Moses had handed the baton of leadership to him. It was clear Joshua was the man in charge. However, we read in verses 13-15 that there is someone else in charge whose authority is far greater than that of Joshua’s. Joshua knew that he was supposed to lead the people in the conquest of Jericho’s walled city yet here we see a dialogue between Joshua and the commander of the Lord’s army whereby it is Joshua who is taking orders. Joshua in total submission falls flat on his face, worships and even takes his sandals off in an awareness of holiness. He knew his place. Joshua was aware of his role as “leader” however he was also aware that all authority given to him was subject to God’s ultimate authority and leadership over him. It takes a humble leader to admit that they are subject to greater authority. No matter what role you are in at work, school or in a church context, know that your leadership is submissive to God’s ultimate authority. That is the key to successful leadership; Submission to God. Joshua’s submission to God and acceptance of His unconventional war tactics led to the defeat of Jericho. We too can overcome battles in our daily lives if we just learn to submit to God in all we do.

The second verse I wanted to highlight is Joshua 21:43-45. The reason we can submit to God’s authority and leadership is simply because He knows best and what He says He will do, He will do. This passage stands as a reminder of God’s faithfulness, the truth of His promise and the confidence in His words. Joshua knew from the beginning of his role as leader that God would lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land. Why? Because He said He would. In chapter 1 verse 13 Joshua finds himself encouraging others with this promise. Skip a few chapters forwards and we read of the fulfilment of this promise. Verse 44 says, “The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that the He had sworn to their fathers.” And again we read in verse 45 “Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything He had spoken came true (NLT).” What wonderful words of encouragement. Joshua knew that God would keep His promises. And it was in full confidence in God’s words that Joshua could submit to God’s authority and consequentially lead the people of Israel effectively.  Here again we are reminded that God says and does exactly what He promises. What a faithful, merciful, trustworthy and true Father we serve.

Today take courage in God’s promises, submit to His Divine authority, be a humble leader and know that God does what He says He will do.

 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid nor be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Amen

(Joshua 1:9)