Leaders Die, Leadership Lives On
The first statement made in Joshua 1 is, “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: ‘Moses my servant is dead’” (1:1-2).
Moses, the leader and deliverer of Israel, was dead, but not the office of the Leader of Israel.
God anoints leaders, and leaders die. But the work of God is in no way hindered by the death of His servants, no matter how eminent they may be. God’s work goes on, because it is HIS work! God can change servants in order to show that He may use whichever instrument He pleases. He is not tied down by, or to, any certain individual.
When a great leader dies we think the organization he led will die with him. Some leaders think they are irreplaceable, but when they leave office someone else takes over immediately! Never think you are so important that life can’t go on without you. When a Moses dies, God anoints a Joshua, because He is set on making sure His children take possession of the promised land!
God, Our True Leader, Never Forsakes Us
“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you” (1:5).
I read a story about a woman who sued God! She accused God of failing to exercise His power over the weather and allowing a lightning bolt to strike her home. It is said the woman won the case because the defendant failed to appear in court. I’m not sure the defendant paid her for damages!
God promised Joshua that He would not leave nor forsake him, no matter how difficult Joshua’s circumstances might become. He was as committed to Joshua as He had been to Moses. God’s presence doesn’t mean that things will always go smoothly. Christians suffer, we endure sorrow and heartache, we die. God’s promise, however, is that He will continue to walk with us and be faithful to us even in our sorrows or failures. Our victory does not come from the absence of suffering, it comes from the presence of God in our suffering.
Be assured that as God was with Moses and Joshua, He is with you as well. Jesus promised, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Whatever difficulties you face, you will not have to face them alone. You can confidently sing:
When in affliction’s valley
I’m treading the road of care,
My Savior helps me to carry
My cross when heavy to bear,
Though all around me is darkness,
Earthly joys all flown;
My Savior whispers His promise,
“I never will leave thee alone.”
No, never alone,
No, never alone;
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.
(“Never Alone” by Ludie Day Pickett. 1897. Public Domain)
Obedience is Key to Good Leadership and Success.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (1:8).
People view success differently! History is full of examples of men and women who found a form of success, but lived to regret it. It was not what the Bible calls “good” success. God’s success is good success. Joshua was assured that if he lived consistent with what was written in God’s Word, he would achieve success – but not just any success but good success. The key to good success is obedience to God’s Word. If you conform your life to God’s will, as it is revealed in His Word, you’ll experience the kind of success that will be a blessing rather than a burden.
As you seek to claim the promises of God remember:
- Leaders Die, Leadership Lives On
- God, Our True Leader, Never Forsakes Us
- Obedience is Key Good Leadership and Success
What about you? Have you ever lost hope because of the loss of a leader or a loved one? What would you say is the biggest lesson you learned?