One of the greatest challenges facing leaders is to replace themselves, training others to become leaders. Many outstanding accomplishments have been started by someone with great ability whose life or career ended before the vision became reality. The fulfilment of that dream then became the responsibility of that person’s successor. Death is the ultimate deadline for leadership. One of the best tests of our leadership is our willingness and ability to train another for our position.
Moses made an excellent decision when he chose Joshua as his assistant. That choice was later confirmed by God himself when he instructed Moses to commission Joshua as his successor (Numbers 27:15-23). Joshua had played a key role in the exodus from Egypt. Introduced as the field general of Israel’s army, he was the only person allowed to accompany Moses part of the way up the mountain when Moses received the law. Joshua and Caleb were the only two among the 12 spies to bring back an encouraging report after being sent into the promised land the first time. Other references show him to have been Moses’ constant shadow. His basic training was living with Moses – experiencing firsthand what it meant to lead God’s people. This was modelling at its best!
Who is your Moses? Who is your Joshua? You are part of the chain of God’s ongoing work in the world. You are modelling yourself on others, and others are patterning their lives after you. How important is God to those you want to be like? Do those who are watching you see God reflected in every area of your life? Ask God to lead you to a trustworthy Moses. Ask him to make you a good Joshua.
Strengths and accomplishments:
- Moses’ assistant and successor
- One of only two adults who experienced Egyptian slavery and lived to enter the promised land
- Led the Israelites into their God-given homeland
- Brilliant military strategist
- Faithful to ask God’s direction in the challenges he faced
Lessons from his life:
- Effective leadership is often the product of good preparation and encouragement
- The persons after whom we pattern ourselves will have a definite effect on us
- A person committed to God provides the best model for us
- Where: Egypt, the Desert of Sinai, and Canaan (the promised land)
- Occupations: Special assistant to Moses, warrior, leader
- Relative: Father: Nun
- Contemporaries: Moses, Caleb, Miriam, Aaron
Key verses: “Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua and made him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the LORD instructed through Moses” (Numbers 27:22, 23).
Joshua is also mentioned in Exodus 17:9-14; 24:13; 32:17; 33:11; Numbers 11:28; 13; 14; 26:65; 27:18-23; 32:11-12, 28; 34:17; Deuteronomy 1:38; 3:21, 28; 31:3, 7, 14, 23; 34:9; the book of Joshua; Judges 2:6-9; and 1 Kings 16:34.