Today’s Reading: Joshua 3-6:27
I have been to Mt. Rushmore where four US presidents are enshrined on the side of the mountain. It is impossible to go there and wonder, “What would it take for my face to one day be on the side of a mountain or even on a statue in the park?” What would it take? Today we read what it takes to be a great leader.
Today we follow the story at the nation of Israel begins to cross the Jordan River. There is one problem, Moses is no longer with them. He had been with them for the last 40 years as their revered leader. Now Joshua was going to have to step up and assume become as great a leader as Moses was. That is a might challenge. How would like to be the person that had to follow a Churchill, Kennedy, Lincoln or de Gaulle? How will Joshua measure up to the challenge?
We find out in today’s reading that Joshua did measure up to the challenge:
Joshua 4:14 NLT
14 That day the Lord made Joshua a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites, and for the rest of his life they revered him as much as they had revered Moses.
First of all it is obvious that the Lord made Joshua a great leader. But what did Joshua do to give God the opportunity to make him a born leader? What character traits can you and I pick up from Joshua’s example. Let’s examine the text to fine out what had led to this declaration.
1. Joshua Recognized God’s Power in their Lives. Even before they got started he gave the credit to the Lord!
Joshua 3:5 NLT
5 Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.”
2. Joshua Listened and Obeyed. God told Joshua what to do, and he did exactly what he was told. He did not put his own spin on it, it simply listened and obeyed.
Joshua 3:7 – 9 NLT
7 The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. 8 Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’”
9 So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says…
3. Joshua Remembered God. The Israelites cross the river Jordan on dry land – a miracle. The entire nation led by 12 men from the 12 tribes and the Ark of the Covenant cross with no problem. Joshua pauses to remember and mark the occasion by creating a pile of 12 stones..
Joshua 4:21 – 24 NLT
21 Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea[f] when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. 24 He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”
So God recognized and chose Joshua knowing that Joshua was a man who:
– Recognized God’s power in his life.
– Listened and obeyed the Lord
– Remembered God and what he had done.
Those are three great things that you can I can do in our own lives. It will allow us to be leader’s – maybe not of nations, but how about leaders of families? How about leaders at our churches? How about leaders in our communities?
Leaders who recognize God – imagine where our world would be today if we had leaders who recognized God.