Leadership Qualities of Moses and Joshua
by Bobby Bruno
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Truly, the Hand of God was upon Joshua from the start. Everything that God had Joshua put his hand to brought success for the people of Israel. Joshua not only led and fought successful battles (Ex 17:9-14) for God, but was also chosen to be the one to lead the people into the Promised Land (Deut 3:28/3:21-22). Of the ten spies (Num 13:16) that went to scout out the land of Canaan only Joshua and Caleb agreed that they could take the land for God has already given it over to them (Num 14:6-9). God even wanted Joshua in on the meetings that Moses would have with God (Ex 33:11), and wanted Joshua to be told what should have been for Moses’ ears only (Ex 17:14). When all was said and done and it was time for the people to claim the land God had promised them, it was to Joshua whom God gave the authority to lead them in (Num 27:18-20). Joshua was fit to lead because he believed God every step of the way from out from Egypt and into the Promised Land. His faith in God never wavered, not even when the courage his own people did (Num 14:1-3). Only a man with the faith to know that God can do all things in and through him can lead people, even when they are fearful of the future. Joshua was such a man. His great belief in what God had already done gave him great courage that God would accomplish all that He said He would. Joshua never backed down from a fight of any kind and knew that God would care for the nation of Israel as He made it the great nation it would soon become. With a leader like Joshua on God’s side, every promise would come to pass.
Comment: “This verse is telling the Israelites that they must choose life, which means keeping the Lord's commandments, and pass that on to the next generation so that they can experience the power and holiness of God, just as the generations before did.”
Author Response: Something just popped into my mind while reading your post Ethan and it is something I’ve never thought of before when it came to all of the rules that God finally gave His people years and years after Abraham was first called to become the Father of the nation. For years Israel had obeyed and then disobeyed God over and over again because of the sin nature they adopted from Adam and Eve. It was as if they had no clue how to stay pure before God and then decided to follow the gods of other nations. It’s almost as God said “What do I have to do, spell it out for you?” and then He did. In order to get His people to behave God had to tell them in detail what He expected from them to keep themselves separate from the other nations around them. Did the rules help? For the most part they did because we humans don’t really remember a lot of rules if you give us too many at one time. At least they put a stop to the overwhelming disobedience of Israel and the nation began to prosper under certain kings who made sure the people kept to the rules, since they were to read the rules once a year to the entire nation to make sure the nation stayed pure so that God could bless them so that the other nations around them could continue to see that their God was the one, true God of the universe.
Comment: “Joshua showed great courage trusting in the Lord, He and Caleb were the only two survivors of the generation that came out of Egypt…”
Author Response: When we read that only Joshua and Caleb were the only two out of possibly millions to live from their generation, it boggles the mind. I can’t imagine what it had to have been like to watch relatives die off one by one in front of me. I would also imagine that it did take a village for all of those children of the deceased to be taken care of. If we believe that all the oldest people had died off in the wilderness (old meaning maybe 60 years in those days) then the median age entering the Promised Land had to have been no more than 40 years old, since the oldest would have died off during those forty years of walking. If we go by the Ten Commandments movie, even 90 year olds made it into paradise with everyone else and Joshua was about sixty since he had some gray hair on the sides of his head. Thank God for the book of Numbers that let us know just how many made it from the wilderness into the paradise that God had set aside for them. From millions of slaves to approximately 603,000 free people. If only the people would have known just how much their complaining was going to cast them? Just how much does our complaining to God cost us in the long run in missed blessings and such?
Exodus 17:9-14 (GW) -- 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men. Then fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill. I will hold in my hand the staff God told me to take along.” 10 Joshua did as Moses told him and fought the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, Israel would win, but as soon as he put his hands down, the Amalekites would start to win. 12 Eventually, Moses' hands felt heavy. So Aaron and Hur took a rock, put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron held up one hand, and Hur held up the other. His hands remained steady until sunset. 13 So Joshua defeated the Amalekite army in battle. 14 The LORD said to Moses, “Write this reminder on a scroll, and make sure that Joshua hears it, too: I will completely erase any memory of the Amalekites from the earth.”
Deuteronomy 3:28 (MSG) -- "Then command Joshua: Give him courage. Give him strength. Single-handed he will lead this people across the river. Single-handed he'll cause them to inherit the land at which you can only look."
Deuteronomy 3:21-22 (AMP) -- And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Your own eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings [Sihon and Og]; so shall the Lord do to all the kingdoms into which you are going over [the Jordan]. 22 You shall not fear them, for the Lord your God shall fight for you.
Numbers 13:16 (MSG) -- These are the names of the men Moses sent to scout out the land. Moses gave Hoshea (Salvation) son of Nun a new name—Joshua (GOD-Saves).
Numbers 14:6-9 (MSG) -- Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, members of the scouting party, ripped their clothes 7 and addressed the assembled People of Israel: "The land we walked through and scouted out is a very good land—very good indeed. 8 If GOD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land that flows, as they say, with milk and honey. And he'll give it to us. 9 Just don't rebel against GOD! And don't be afraid of those people. Why, we'll have them for lunch! They have no protection and GOD is on our side. Don't be afraid of them!"
Exodus 33:11 (GW) -- The LORD would speak to Moses personally, as a man speaks to his friend. Then Moses would come back to the camp, but his assistant, Joshua, son of Nun, stayed inside the tent.
Exodus 17:14 (GW) -- The LORD said to Moses, “Write this reminder on a scroll, and make sure that Joshua hears it, too: I will completely erase any memory of the Amalekites from the earth.”
Numbers 27:18-20 (GW) -- So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua, son of Nun, a man who has the Spirit, and place your hand on him. 19 Make him stand in front of the priest Eleazar and the whole community, and give him his instructions in their presence. 20 Give him some of your authority so that the whole community of Israel will obey him.
Numbers 14:1-3 (GW) -- Then all the people in the Israelite community raised their voices and cried out loud all that night. 2 They complained to Moses and Aaron, “If only we had died in Egypt or this desert! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us to this land—just to have us die in battle? Our wives and children will be taken as prisoners of war! Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”
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