This morning, I was reading a blog on leadership. In referencing how he feels at the beginning of something the author said, “I experience the greatest doubt and anxiety at the start of something big. Whether it’s good or bad, I’m usually fine once I’m going. But until then, I’m like the person on the tip of the high dive, overlooking way too much blue.” Oh, how I can relate.
Something tells me that Joshua was no different. Yes, God’s call was on his life. Yes, God gave him powerful promises to hold on to and great instruction to take with him. But, he was still human and had never done anything like this before. However, he would move forward with butterflies in his stomach and trembling hands. As Joshua gets things ready for the big capture, his anxious heart would eventually turn into one of strength and courage.
Summarize in your own words Joshua 1:10-18.
As a reminder, read again Joshua 1:10-11 and fill in the blanks:
“So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: ‘Go through the camp and tell the people, ______________ _____________ __________________ _________________.’”
It is here where Joshua takes full command. He has now stepped into the shoes of Moses and begins a renowned leadership position. He begins by getting the people ready.
According to Joshua 1:10, who were the ones that Joshua spoke to?
One of the best things that happened to Moses in the desert is when his father-in-law paid him a visit (Exodus 18). It is definitely worth your time to read this chapter. When Jethro heard about all the good things God had done through Moses for His people—the miracles included—he came to the desert to meet with Moses. But during his visit, Jethro became troubled when he saw that Moses served as judge and jury for all the people. Remember, there were one and half million people who fled Egypt. Night and day Moses handled every problem, big and small.
So, Jethro offered Moses some valuable advice that he was able to incorporate into his new leadership role. He instructed Moses to elect leaders from all the tribes and teach the leaders how to handle the little things. And then the bigger issues could be brought to Moses. By doing this, Moses would not be worn out. Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he told him to do.
Most likely these leadership positions (howbeit, different people) were still in place since the early days in the desert, and these are the leaders Joshua selected to help the people get ready.
Who was the leader of Joshua?
Who was the leader of the people?
Right here we see the spiritual chain of command:
God → Joshua → the people
This spiritual chain of command should still be in place in the New Testament church.
Write out the spiritual chain of command for the church and the family based on Ephesians 5:23-24.
What is God speaking to you about in your own life?
Jesus is the absolute authority for the church. The leaders He puts in place get instruction from Him, and they in turn guide the people. But far too often we see this chain of command broken because the people refuse to follow the leader. This happens in the church more than we think.
Summarize Paul’s concern with the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:11-12)?
Read further in this passage, 1 Corinthians 1:13-17. What did Paul tell the leaders of this church?
Many things can empty the cross of its power (1 Corinthians 1:17) and division is positioned at the top of the list. At one time the Corinthian church was overflowing with truth. Their light was a bright beacon of hope in this bustling metropolitan center. But somewhere along the way, the church lost its focus. The enemy slipped in causing division and chaos. They were clearly divided in their allegiance. When the Apostle Paul heard about it, he sent a letter of warning to them. In the end, Paul explained that their behavior was hurting the cause of Christ, instead of advancing it.
Have you seen such division in the church or in your personal life? What was the result?
How do you think we can hinder the cross of Christ?
God set up a structure. And when that structure breaks down, the repercussions are insurmountable. This is true in any God-ordained institution: the church, marriage, the family, government, etc. It’s important we respect those in leadership over us. We may not agree with them all the time, but we need to respect them.
Again, how did the people respond to Joshua’s leadership position (Joshua 1:16-18)?
Now, go back and read Exodus 17:1-3. Write down what happened.
As Joshua stands before this new generation of people, he remembers a day when the people weren’t so compliant. So, imagine how overjoyed he was to hear the peoples’ response.
The yielding spirits Joshua is facing at this moment must have sent his spirit soaring.
Joshua is off to a good start and God is with him. No doubt, the Spirit of God was all over this and God was about to unleash great power. The people were compliant and ready to move with their new leader. Are you excited to move along with him as well?
Write out your thoughts as we conclude our lesson today.
Please share your comments in the comments section.