When they had finished distributing the several territories of the land as inheritances, the people of Israel gave an inheritance among them to Joshua the son of Nun.
Only after all of Israel had been given allotment of the promised land did Joshua receive his inheritance. The leader did not demand, he served. That is a secret of Joshua's success as a leader. He simply waited for God's timing and direction on matters of leadership. He was more concerned about serving his God and his people than he was about his own personal desires.
Joshua could have demanded the best and most influential territory for himself. After all, he was the leader. They needed to impress their conquered foes! It would have been entirely in keeping with kings of the Canaanites for Joshua to have built a stately walled fortress and to have demanded tribute. Instead, he simply keeps serving his people, patiently waiting until they have all been given their needs before making his request before God.
And Joshua chose to fade into semi-retirement. (Joshua 19:50) His cozy little city in the hill country of Ephraim (Timnath-serah) was out of the way of all the main power centers. I imagine him enjoying the last remaining years of his service building a home and farm. He is living out the dream he knew Israel could have when he first spied out the land under Moses' leadership.
Joshua experienced the reality the servant leadership is its own reward. I once heard another well-seasoned saint say this: "You will never regret truly serving someone for the sake of Jesus" (Howard Hendricks). I wholeheartedly agree. And Joshua is an Old Testament character who proved this point.
- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13