Joshua: A Leader for the People

Key Verse: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
—Joshua 1:9

Selected Scripture:
Joshua 1

JOSHUA, WHOSE NAME SIGNIFIES deliverer, or savior, became Israel’s leader, and under him they won many great victories. The result of these victories helped to make it possible for them to enter the land of the promise made to them by the Heavenly Father in the covenant. We have been told that he came from the tribe of Ephraim, who represented one of their leading families. His grandfather Elishama had been a captain of the army of the Ephraimites who were strong in number at the organization of the Israelites, soon after their exodus from Egypt.—Num. 1:10, Judg. 12:4

Joshua is referred to as “Moses’ minister.” (Josh. 1:1) He was constantly in training which would make him familiar with the Divine plans and methods as understood and practiced by Moses. It was Joshua who went with Moses into Mt. Sinai; it was he who led one of the companies of spies, and who brought back a good report. (Num. 14:6,7) He had stood by Moses in advising the people to have faith in God, and to proceed to conquer and possess the promised land. However, while Joshua could not be Moses—the leader, commander, law-giver—he was faithful as a follower of Moses. He was one who obeyed Divine law, and his great faith and trust in God would lead him in having much influence with his people. He was just what God desired for him to be, and it shows to us that whoever is worthy of such a testimony from the Father is truly to be considered great.

At the time of taking Moses’ place as the leader of the nation, he was in his eighty-third year. He must have been either the oldest, or next to the oldest, man in all the nation, yet he was strong, and evidently the best qualified man for the position. A very important aspect of Joshua’s life can be seen in his character. Being meek, he waited for the Lord to authorize his taking command. For twenty-seven years, Joshua was the leader of Israel, faithful to God and to his people. He had not only led them in their first battle but he continued to lead them through Jordan and directed them in the conquering of city after city, including the dividing of the land among the tribes. It is also clear that he governed the people with great acceptance, dying at the age of one hundred and ten.

To accomplish the difficult task of entering their land of promise they would need to ‘Be strong and of a good courage.’ God had not promised to give them an easy entrance and possession; they were to fight and conquer their foes. They were being told by God through Joshua to have full confidence, not in themselves but in God. “Without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5) The basis for their strength and courage was the promise of God to Abraham that he would bring his seed into the land of Canaan. “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.”—Gen. 26:3-5

Dawn Bible Students Association
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