Scripture: Joshua 12:Now these are the kings of the land, whom the Israelites defeated… 2 King Sihon of the Amorites …4 and King Og of Bashan, one of the last of the Rephaim, …6 Moses, the servant of the LORD, and the Israelites defeated them; and Moses the servant of the LORD gave their land for a possession to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh. 7 1 The following are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the Israelites defeated on the west side of the Jordan… thirty-one kings in all.
Observation: There is a marked contrast in the number of kings defeated in the time of Moses (2) and then in the time of Joshua (31). Moses spent 40 years leading the Israelites in a season of “wandering”, only doing battle when absolutely necessary. His journey was exclusively east of the River Jordan. Joshua took over for Moses when the Israelites were finally done wandering and crossed over to the west side of the Jordan. That’s where the promised land was and where Israel occupied lands formerly inhabited by other peoples. Joshua was leader in a time of “warring”, not wandering. Different seasons, different leaders.
Application: Leadership is generally a seasonal thing. A person assumes that role for a while, but then another leader takes their place. This happens in churches all the time. Someone plants a church, another sustains and develops it. It happens in families as generations change. There are few people left in my parents generation. Soon my siblings and I will be the oldest generation.
Today’s passage reminds me that, as a leader, I am only so for a season. Soon enough my time will be over and another will take my place. In terms of the church I lead, I’ve been here for five years now. While I’m not sure how many more years I’ll be here (literally, only the Lord knows), my prayer is that I will leave a healthy collection of people faithfully loving God, loving one another, and loving the world.
I’m also thinking about my family – specifically, my children. More than any other persons on earth, they have seen my leadership up close. They’ve seen me at my best and at my worst. I wonder if, when they have families of their own, they will consider their dad someone worth imitating as a parent. I expect in some ways yes, and perhaps some ways no. There will be key lessons they learned from me which they will pass along to their own children. There will be things for which my children will need to forgive me.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, the older I get the more I realize just how fleeting this life is. The days go faster, time is short. Soon enough, my time will be over. Give me grace to lead well while I’m here. Forgive my many sins and shortcomings, that you might one day say to me, “Well done good and faithful servant.” Amen.