“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4, NKJV)
Over the years, my interest in the life, leadership and inspiration of the next leader of God’s people, Joshua, following Moses’ death, has only increased with time. The Book of the Bible that bears his name continues to challenge and encourage me to do better!
The final words of a great person from any walk or profession in life can be significant. But the words of a great spiritual leader like Joshua should cause us to perk up our ears! This man walked with God!
Our gracious and loving Heavenly Father presided over and preserved a record of our history in sixty-six books that make up the Bible. What is of paramount importance to the Lord is not just that we familiarize ourselves with the various characters and events of both Testaments … but that we learn about ourselves as well.
Mankind down through the ages is still of flesh and blood … possessing emotions that are intended to be good but that can turn to the dark side. Mankind then had the same problem that we have today … the problem of sin and its consequences! Mankind then as we do today had the opportunity to choose how they were going to live and who they were going to serve! The fact is that “no man can serve two masters …”
Looking into the carefully preserved mirror of God’s Book, the Apostle Paul says in our text, “for whatever things were written before were written for our learning …” We must not miss the import of these words … because they have been preserved for us to be able to see ourselves more clearly … revealing in an honest, no-holds-barred image of who we are and of what we can choose to become!
Joshua chose to be a man whose God was the one, true and living God! He feared Him, reverenced Him, talked with Him, served Him and obeyed Him, although he did so with his own share of mistakes!
Joshua was not a perfect man and neither are any of us! We’ve probably all known someone who maybe ‘thought’ they were, but we know and more importantly, God knows the real truth.
God wants the best for all of us and the ‘best’ is found in love, sacrifice and obedience to Him. We must learn to overcome the notion that life is about us! It is not about us … it is about our willingness to do that which honors and glorifies Him who made us!
The more we choose to read, learn and strive to imitate those characters highlighted throughout God’s Book that He looked upon with favor … the more their strengths can come to describe and characterize each of us! And of course, the greatest of those examples is that of Jesus Christ, “the only begotten Son of God!”
The greatest danger in your life and mine is not that we will lose our job or our health, or even our friends and family … but that we might lose our faith and sadly then lose our soul!
“And if it’s evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.