Jehovah calls Joshua to lead Israel
Scripture: Joshua 1:1-11
Aim: To show some of the marks a Christian leader needs in order to be a faithful, usable servant of Jehovah God.
Golden Text: “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).
Moses has died (vs. 1-2). Joshua had been in training for several years under Moses’ leadership. He had been with Moses at the time the Israelites were at Mount Sinai. When Moses received the law from Jehovah, Joshua had accompanied him up the mount where he waited for Moses to return. Joshua had been leader in fighting the battles, which Israel had to fight in order to arrive safely at the land of Palestine. At the time of our lesson, he was already a trained, faithful leader of Israel under the tutorship of Moses. Jehovah called Joshua to become Israel’s leader. He had before been anointed by Moses at Jehovah’s command.
I. The call to Christian leadership must be a call, a commission from Jehovah God Himself (Joshua 1:1-2). Jehovah commands Joshua to take Israel over the Jordan River into Palestine. This is a definite call and commission. It becomes the basic motivation for Joshua to continue as the leader of Israel. Without this call and commission, Joshua would have been presumptuous and sinning against God.
Each leader in the church ought to seek the will of God for the place of service that has been offered to him or her. Without a clear leadership from the Lord, the servant cannot accomplish the task that has been set before him in a way that will please and delight the Lord.
II. The call to Christian leadership will always be based upon the foundation of God’ promises(Joshua 1:2-3). Joshua was reminded that Jehovah had promised to give Palestine to the children of Israel (vs. 2). Joshua was reminded that the promises had been given to Moses; therefore, Joshua must move forward as leader of Israel remembering that Jehovah had given His promise and assurance that Joshua would be able to accomplish the task given.
The Christian leader called by the Lord has the promise of Omnipotence behind his service. The Lord promises to be with the leader, to guide him, to provide him and bless him (Prov. 3:5-6).
III. The Christian leader has assurance that the Lord will be with him in his faithful service (Joshua 1:3-9). First, Joshua was assured that as he obeyed the Lord, he would be able to conquer all the land was given by Jehovah (vs. 3-4). Second, success was assured to the obedient leader, and Jehovah would “be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (vs. 5). Third, faithfulness to God’s commands were the necessary requirement of the leader (vs. 7-8). Fourth, the Lord will remove fear, discouragement and doubt on the condition that the leader: Meditates on the Word of God, does what the Word of God teaches, and faithfully trusts in God (not men, programs, means, etc., vs. 8-9).
The Christian leader must have no doubts that (1) God keeps His promises always (vs. 6); The Lord is the one who is able and will make the leader be able to accomplish the job sent to do (vs. 7); the Lord will, at His time and in His way reveal His purposes to a faithful leader (vs. 8).
Much of our church leadership today is predicated upon “need” not the call of and obedience to God. There is a need. Some one asks someone to meet that need. So the person serves to meet the need. It is all right to see a need and meet it; however, in order for the service to be blessed of God, the servant ought to seek God’s will in that and every matter. Where the Lord calls He leads, guides, blesses, provides and brings success to the glory of His name!