Read Joshua 1.
His name means "Jehovah is salvation". The New Testament equivalent of that name is Jesus. After 400 years in slavery, and 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, it was now his duty to return the descendants of Abraham back to the land God promised them in Genesis 12.
What a task...to fill the shoes of Moses as the leader of
Israel! Joshua was not inexperienced. He had been Moses' aide most of his
life. He was the general of Israel's army
and with the battles ahead in taking the new land, the nation would need such a
leader. He served as a faithful spy and
had already seen the land. It is a
sobering reminder that none of us are irreplaceable. God's work is not limited to one person.
Geographically, the nation had camped on the east side of the Jordan River, just north of the
Dead Sea. They must cross the river and begin a
military campaign in order to establish themselves on the inhabited . land of Canaan
Note that the vision came from God. It was not a selfish goal on
Israel's part, or an ego-driven effort from any person.
With clarity of what God wants done comes His power and resources to
accomplish His work. The leader must be
dependent on God and disciplined in behavior to accomplish the task. But the leader cannot do it alone. The leaders and those who follow must be
aligned with God as well and willing to carry out God's vision.
Notice these three indispensable requirements for moving forward to accomplish their God-given tasks.
1. The LORD's Reassurances to the leader.
The LORD encouraged Joshua with power-filled promises to empower his leadership.
A. Territorial leadership. Concerning the land, God said He had given it to him. (vv.3-4)
B. Military leadership. No enemy would be able to stand against him. (v.5a)
C. Spiritual leadership. "I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you." (v.5b)
The result was predetermined victory.
2. The LORD's list of Responsibilities to the leader.
God's word and presence would be there, but Joshua must discipline his emotions, his thinking, his speech, and his behavior.
A. "Be strong and very courageous". (v6)
B. "Being careful to do according to all the law." (v.7a)
C. "Do not turn from it." (v.7b)
D. "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth." (v.8a)
E. "You shall meditate on it day and night." (v.8b)
F. "Do not be frightened." (v.9a)
G. "Do not be dismayed." (v.9b)
The result is prosperity and success.
3. The other leaders' Responses to the leader.
Unity among leaders of any organization is imperative. A divided leadership leads to a divided people 100% of the time and destroys their potential as a group.
A. Obedience. "All that you have commanded we will do." (v.16)
B. Allegiance. "Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you." (v.17a)
C. Urgency. "Only may God be with you." (v.17b) "Only be strong and courageous." (b.18b)