It is impressive to note the great influence that Joshua had with those of his generation.
a. Of course, much of that influence was due to God being with him and doing many "great works"
b. Such as the parting of the Jordan River, the fall of Jericho, the day the sun and moon stood still
But credit must also be given to Joshua, for from the very beginning the promise of God's support was based upon Joshua's faithful obedience to the Word of God. cf Josh 1:1-9
Joshua therefore stands before us as an example of what it takes to be a great leader...
a. Every generation needs good leadership, especially in times of struggle and doubt
b. For those who lead, or who might one day serve as leaders, Joshua serves as a role model
c. For those who follow, he serves as an example of what we should look for in our leaders
I. Joshua was a man of humility.
A. Before he was a leader, he was willing to serve.
1. For forty years he served under Moses in the Wilderness
2. He was known as "Moses' assistant", "his servant" Exo 24:13; 33:11
a. Great leaders are people who have no problem with serving others.
b. It helps prepare to them to lead
B. Even as a leader, he was willing to serve.
1. Though having been magnified by the Lord himself - Josh 3:7; 4:14
2. He was still willing to serve One greater than himself - Josh 5:13-15 -- Great leaders do not let praise go to their head; they are humble enough to know when it is time to serve once again
[Joshua's humility is also demonstrated as we consider another quality that we find in him...]
II. A MAN OF FAITH AND TRUST IN GOD
A. AS DEMONSTRATED WHEN SENT TO SPY OUT THE LAND...
1. Ten of the twelve spies demonstrated their lack of faith in God by their report - Num 13:25-28
2. But despite the "peer pressure" he must have felt, Joshua (along with Caleb) demonstrated his faith in God by his report - cf. Nu 14:6-9
B. AS DEMONSTRATED IN THE FALL OF JERICHO...
1. The Lord gave him the instructions to take the city - Josh 6:1-5
2. Only full trust and faith in the Lord could have led Joshua to follow such instructions, but he did! - cf. He 11:30
[Great leaders realize they cannot place their faith in men (including themselves); they must look to God! Closely related to this is another quality of Joshua that made him a great leader: he was...]
III. A MAN OF GOD'S WORD
A. HIS SUCCESS WAS DIRECTLY RELATED TO HIS ADHERENCE TO THE WORD OF GOD
1. To ensure success, he had to fulfill all the Law as given by Moses - Josh 1:7
2. To ensure that he did, he was to meditate upon the Law day and night - Josh 1:8
B. TIME AND AGAIN, WE SEE THAT JOSHUA WAS TRUE TO THE WORD...
1. In reminding the two and half tribes of their responsibility - Josh 1:12-15
2. In renewing the covenant at Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim - Josh 8:30-35
3. A summary of Joshua's devotion is found in Josh 11:15 4. Even at the end of his life, he encouraged the nation to heed God's Word - Josh 23:6,14-16
[Faith comes from the Word of God (Ro 10:17), so we really can't expect one to be a man of faith without being a man of God's Word. For those who would lead, they need to heed the charge God gave Joshua (Josh 1:8), which is similar to the charge Paul gave Timothy (1 Ti 4:13-16). Closely related to being a man of faith and trust is being...]
IV. A MAN OF PRAYER
A. WE SEE HIM PRAYING FOR HIS PEOPLE'S FAILURES...
1. Following the defeat at Ai - Josh 7:6-9
2. In which he and the elders pleaded with God in behalf of Israel
B. WE SEE HIM PRAYING IN THE MIDST OF WARFARE...
1. As Israel is routing the kings of the south - Josh 10:9-14
2. Trusting not in their own strength, he looks to the Lord for help, Who causes the sun and moon to stand still
[If Joshua had not been a man of prayer, the aid of the Lord would not have been provided. When leaders need all the help they can get, they need to be men of prayer! Finally, it should be clear from what we have already seen that another quality of leadership found in Joshua is that he was...]
V. A MAN WHO PUT GOD FIRST
A. BEFORE THE BUSINESS AT HAND...
1. Even in the middle of a military campaign - Josh 8:30-35; cf. Deut 27-28
2. Though it gave their enemies time to join together in opposition (Josh 9:1-2), Joshua still put God first and kept His commandment concerning the blessings and cursings
B. BEFORE OTHERS...
1. He cared not what others might do or think, he would serve the Lord! - Josh 24:14-15
2. His strong stand influenced others for good - Josh 24:16
1. It was qualities such as these that made Joshua the strong leader that he was...
a. He was a man of humility
b. He was a man of faith and trust in God
c. He was a man of God's Word
d. He was a man of prayer
e. He was a man who put God first
2. But he was not alone in these things, as it appears that others of his generation were much the same - cf. Josh 24:31
a. As long as the elders who had been contemporary with Joshua survived, the nation as a whole served the Lord
b. So we are not talking about supernatural qualities, but those which each and every person is capable of possessing!
Finally, consider some similarities between Joshua and Jesus...
1) Their names are the same (Joshua is Hebrew, Jesus is Greek), which means "savior"
2) Joshua was the leader of the Israelites into the promised land of Canaan; Jesus is our leader into the promised land of heaven - cf. Jn 14:1
3) As Joshua pointed the people to the Word of God, so did Jesus - Mt 7:21
4) As Joshua was an agent of both grace (cf. Rahab) and damnation (cf. nations of Canaan), so Jesus is both savior and judge of all men, who metes out death as well as life - Mt 25:34,41
Have you humbly submitted to the One who should be the Commander and Leader of your life...?