Joshua chapter 9
What do we do in the face of decision as leaders? I have to think back to decisions I have made as a leader and examine them in the light of this passage. Did I rely on my own understanding or the physical evidence that pointed to what I thought would give me a solid foundation for a good decision?
One of the things that I focused on after reading this passage was the fact that Joshua and the other leaders had fallen into the ruse of the Gibeonite travellers. I stayed in this place trying to dig deeper into an understanding of why they were blind to the deception before them. After some time of reflection I began to question my own process of decision, I now understand more that it is because my sinful nature that I often do rely on my own strength or the strengths of others on my team to make decisions. This passage is a great reminder that we need to bring everything before God as we lead in the decisions in all areas of life.
As leaders I believe that we need to also focus on how Joshua and the other leaders responded to the cries of the whole assembly to destroy them. They stayed true to their word, even though it would have been easy for them to destroy the Gibeonite people. They had made an oath before the Lord that they would not destroy them. Joshua and the other leaders were men of honor and integrity, holding true to their oath was a powerful example of true leadership to the people of Israel.
This reminds me of a leadership principle from John MacArthur in his book Called to Lead. He gives us this principle… “A leader empowers by example”, When we seek God’s guidance in this area He is able to reveal through us His perfect example allowing us to be better leaders.
“6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Be Strong and courageous. Three times in the first 10 verses of chapter 1 in the book of Joshua God repeats these words to his servant. I remember back to some of those painstakingly long high school english classes that eventually taught me that if you want to get a point across in a presentation you must repeat your main point of action at least twice or even three times to help people “get it”.
Joshua 1:6-9 is an incredible encouragement and reminder of knowing that God is walking beside me in my journey. I see this piece of scripture laying down a solid foundation for a life in leadership. As a leader and follower of Christ I have to be spending time in His word, “…meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything it” (v.8), this was his command to Joshua and I believe this is true for all of us today as well. Today for me working in a new environment where spending time in the word and praying is encouraged and if I can say required has allowed me to begin building on that solid foundation. It has not been easy and I have to be honest it has not been day and night everyday, but God has created in me a fresh desire to want more. There may be times ahead of me where I will be discouraged maybe even terrified as Joshua may have been but by faith I know that God is with me wherever I go.