Joshua: strong supports…

Cover to Cover

Reading: Joshua 1:1-6:27

Focus: Joshua 1:12-18

A leader is only as good as those who follow him. After all, what good is a leader who has no followers? Kinda pointless to be a leader when no one follows you… What is worse is you succeed a great leader! The pressure of meeting the standard set by the previous leader, not in spite of you, but simply because they were great. It is a greater test of one’s leadership in the line of succession. Even with the full blessing of the previous leader, it does not automatically ensure a successful transition and leadership.

However, it is an entirely different story when followers give their overwhelming support. As Joshua had succeeded Moses and began to mobilise the people of Israel to move into the Promised Land, he had to deal with a potentially difficult situation involving the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh. These three tribes had already received their allotment of land on one side of the Jordon, while the remaining tribes would receive their allotment on the other side of the Jordon. There was a possibility that the three tribes may not have recognised Joshua’s leadership and revoked their oath to Moses to aid the remaining tribes in the conquest of the Promised Land.

The words of three tribes are simply priceless:

Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the LORD your God be with you as he was with Moses. Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey your words, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!

How awesome would it be to hear these words as a leader! Complete support and not only that, what seems like conditions, would be better understood as prayers for Joshua. And in closing, repeating God’s exhortation given to Joshua: be strong and courageous! Such support must have given Joshua a huge confidence boost following in the footsteps of Moses.

The question today though is whether we support our leaders in the same way. Do we offer them our prayers that God would anoint them, guide them, strengthen them in all things that they might be the best that they can be? Do we exhort and encourage them to be strong and courageous as God’s servants? What difference would it make if our leaders knew that they were standing upon the prayers and support of those who followed them?

Next Reading: Joshua 7:1-10:15