Thursday, November 11, 2010


Then the people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods, for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. And the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God."
Joshua 24:16-18

This serves as a fitting end to the book of Joshua. The book begins with Israel's commitment to God and to Joshua's leadership (Joshua 1:16-18). And it ends with a strong commitment to obedience to God as Joshua prepares for the inevitable end of his long and blessed life. The main concern that Joshua had was with the spiritual relationship Israel had under the covenant. And this reaffirmation at Shechem was meant to keep Israel's priorities laser-focused on God.

Despite some failures, this generation under Joshua was remarkable for its faith and commitment. These people were prospering under obedience to the covenant, and they knew it. They knew that God had brought the nation out of Egyptian slavery. They knew that God had supernaturally led them through the wilderness. They knew that God had made the military of conquest of Canaan possible by driving out peoples before them. They were committed to serving the Lord.

The thing that made this obedience easy to affirm was that they saw God at work. They were quick to testify to God's goodness. It was not so much about Joshua's tremendous leadership as it was God's grace and provision. Joshua wanted to see this, and it had to please him to see God so enthusiastically worshiped in such a spontaneous way with the nation. His servant leadership was affirmed by Israel's undivided loyalty to God.

In a sense, I don't want to be known for my leadership. I don't want to become indispensable in any work God has called me to do. Instead, I want God to be made known and affirmed. He does not need me, and people should not "need" me in order to know Him! Instead, the mark of real ministry and real leadership is that God is clearly in the foreground and the leader does not need the attention. That is where I always want to be found... just another follower of my Lord!

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