Sunday, February 15, 2015

The humility of Joshua

Josh. 3:7 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.
Josh. 3:8 And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.
Josh. 3:9 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.
Josh. 3:10 And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.
Josh. 3:11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.

Note here how Joshua takes the influence that God gives him with the people and uses it to increase their faith in God. Although God tells Joshua that the parting of the Jordan would be the means by which he would cause Joshua to be magnified in the eyes of the people, Joshua turns right to the Children of Israel and tells them that this would be the means by which they would know that God was among them and would not fail to drive their enemies out before them. The selflessness that was exhibited here by Joshua should be an example for all of us. How easy would it have been for Joshua to turn right around and say, "God has told me that he will part the Jordan in order for me to be magnified in your eyes!" However, he had a mind of service toward the people, to do what was best for them, and he knew that what was best for them was always more of God. More faith in him, more love for him, more obedience to him, and more trust in his words. If God's plan was for Joshua to be magnified in the eyes of the people, there was no reason for Joshua to grandstand or pontificate, God can and will accomplish his plan without our egotism.
What a lesson in humility and service is here to be gained for us, how often is our first priority on making sure we look good or we get our due instead of doing what is best for others, particularly the children of God? Let us commit to be more like Joshua by using whatever influence or respect we have with others to point them back to Christ, if we use it simply to make ourselves feel better or to increase our material wealth we have prostituted one of the good gifts of God, and using what could have been used to glorify God as a means of glorifying ourselves makes us guilty of idolatry!

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