Lessons from the book of Joshua
Joshua 12 – Curriculum Vitae
The account in Joshua chapter 12 shows that Moses conquered two kings after crossing the Red Sea while Joshua conquered thirty one kings.
A few lessons to be learnt.
- Moses went through some challenges convincing his people to work with him and believe in their hearts that, though Pharaoh made their burdens heavier because they were attempting freedom, things will end up as God had said.
Joshua also went through some challenges getting the people to believe in their hearts that the giants in the land were dwarfed by the promise of the God who had been faithful all the while and things will work out just as God had said.
Moses crossed the Red Sea and Joshua crossed the mud brown River Jordan.
Moses conquered two kings and Joshua conquered thirty one kings.
Moses’ difficulties finally led to the conquest of two kings. This was not all he accomplished obviously but in the eyes of the world at large at that time it could have been thought that their God went through all that just to give them the lands of two kings. And coupled with the fact that the manna and the quails stopped coming and Israel crossed a relatively small River Jordan under Joshua, it could have seemed Joshua would only be able to claim a fraction of one King’s territory as it seemed the power of his God was waning.
If one was to calculate the seeming pattern, it would have seemed so sensible to not expect much from the Joshua administration in terms of settlements. One could have thought, ‘In the “good old days” of President Moses, we only conquered two nations but now, when it’s obvious that the spectacularly supernatural free food has run out, the pillar of cloud and fire has disappeared and God is not doing so many jaw dropping things anymore for our nation, we shouldn’t expect much victory and conquest under President Joshua. As things stand right now, we should count ourselves lucky if we are able to win one border dispute.’
And then, God leads Joshua to victory after victory till they sacked thirty one Kings!
The lesson is that our analysis does not equal or determine what God can do and will do. (Ephesians 3:20.) One person fights a lot and earns little and another is favoured with much reward for seemingly very little effort.
God always has something better for later.
- The two kings accounted as Moses’ conquests were actually overcome in battle by the army led by Joshua. Moses was never their military leader, Joshua was. But Joshua’s leadership gained credibility while he was still serving his master, credibility he would later need to lead the nation on a military campaign to claim the land promised them.
The lesson here is that it is important to empower up-coming leaders around us; we can’t tell who amongst them would eventually fulfill the vision we have.
The flip side is this, when your boss is sending you on critical assignments, it might seem he’s using you so much for very little pay, but it might also be the preparation for the leadership role he sees you fulfilling in the future. Funny enough, he may not even see it at all, but God does.
- Joshua served under Moses for at least forty years. Moses was a “diplomatic” leader and when it came to the battle field, Joshua was Moses’ weapon of war. Joshua could have judged Moses as being unfair by always putting his life at risk while he, Moses, finds himself a comfortable seat having his arms held by two men at a safe distance from the fight all in the name of providing spiritual cover. Could Moses not have simply waved the rod and make that Angel of God who was following them through the desert wipe out all the enemy soldiers at once? I mean, the man wrecked the kingdom of Egypt not long ago. Why does he not use the same plagues now?
If Joshua had done that, he would not have done as well as he did when it came his time to lead the nation. As it turned out, God had determined that the second administration was to be a military campaign; the people had to conquer and claim or be destroyed like any other thieving horde. Thankfully, they had a military president who had plenty of practice in the previous administration. Joshua had become a veteran of faith and of battle. He had put his life on the line for his boss, now his people were confident to put their lives on the line for him.
If, while you are serving under someone, you do not give your very best, you only rob yourself of the opportunity to have the seed of greatness sown in you by God to be watered and tended by your current boss. Always apply yourself to the task at hand under your boss; it is your opportunity to take a shot at exploits with the safety net of someone watching out for you in case you slip.