Summary: There are many unwilling heroes throughout Scripture. Humble men that recognized their own incompetence, and yet God sought them out in order to use them for His glory. Recognizing these were men that would shy away from resting upon their own abilities a
A Study of the Book of Joshua
A.W. Tozer writes, we cannot think rightly of God until we begin to think of Him as always being there, and there first. Joshua had this to learn. He had been so long the servant of God’s servant Moses, and had with such assurance received God’s Word at his mouth, that Moses and the God of Moses had become blended in his thinking, so blended that he could hardly separate the two thoughts; by association they always appeared together in Joshua’s mind. Now Moses is dead, and lest the young Joshua be struck down with despair God spoke to him with assurance, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” Moses was dead, but the God of Moses still lived. Nothing had changed; nothing had been lost. Nothing of God dies when a man of God dies.
Henry Blackaby writes, stepping into the shoes of a popular and successful leader can be a disconcerting experience. Most people would feel somewhat inadequate when asked to assume a position vacated by a celebrated and revered leader. Joshua had plenty of reasons to feel insecure when God called him to lead the Israelites into Canaan. He faced powerful, hostile armies. His enemies were well equipped with iron chariots and fortified cities. And his predecessor had been Moses, the most famous and respected figure in Israelite history. No wonder God gave Joshua the following assurances:
5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.6 “Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.7 “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.9 “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.”
God didn’t flatter Joshua, nor did he encourage Joshua to draw confidence from his own strengths and abilities. Rather, God made it abundantly clear to Joshua that he need not fear his own inadequacies because God would be in control. Joshua could lead the Hebrew nation with absolute confidence, not in his own leadership skills, but in the assurance of the Lord’s presence.
LET US PRAY!
The party aboard ship was in full swing. Speeches were being made by the captain, the crew, and the guest enjoying the week-long voyage. Sitting at the head table was a seventy-year-old man who, somewhat embarrassed, was doing his best to accept the praise being poured on him.
Earlier that morning a young woman had apparently fallen overboard, and within seconds this elderly gentleman was in the cold, dark waters at her side. The woman was rescued and the elderly man became an instant hero.
When time finally came for the brave passenger to speak, the stateroom fell into a hush as he rose from his chair. He went to the microphone and, in what was probably the shortest “hero’s” speech ever offered, spoke these stirring words: “I just want to know one thing---WHO PUSHED ME?”…. Chuck Swindoll
There are many unwilling heroes throughout Scripture. Humble men that recognized their own incompetence, and yet God sought them out in order to use them for His glory. Recognizing these were men that would shy away from resting upon their own abilities and be inclined to seek the Lord first in all things.
But how did God orchestrate this rise to leadership for this man Joshua? We know God was grooming him for this task through leadership on the battlefield and other responsibilities. And from what we know Joshua didn’t have difficulties with being called to the other tasks that he was given. In fact, Joshua was a tremendous warrior, who to this day can be looked upon as one of the greatest military leaders of all time.
We see that in this first chapter of Joshua that God is using the phrase be strong and courageous multiple times when talking with Joshua. Which you would think would come hand-in-hand with being a military leader. Ah! But this was different; Joshua was now confronted with the reality that he was being called out to be the Spiritual leader of his nation. This brought him to unfamiliar territory in his life that caused him to second guess his ability and recognize the full weight of responsibility.