Joshua 24:31, “Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel.”
Joshua was the God-appointed successor to Moses who was commanded to conquer the enemy and take possession of the promise land. His life can be summed up with two bookend verses. Just like how a bookshelf has two ends that keep all the books in standing order- so it is true with these two verses concerning Joshua, they give order and explanation to all that Joshua accomplished as Israel’s great conquering leader.
The first bookend verse comes at the beginning of his life and the other at the end. Thus, everything that he did as a great leader comes in-between these two powerful verses. The first bookend verse of Joshua’s life is found in Joshua 1:8 when God told him, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” In this verse at the beginning of Joshua’s leadership God gave him the “secret to success,” which was, “keeping the Book of Law.”
The second bookend verse is found in Joshua 24:25 at the end of his life when the author records, “On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws.” Therefore, Joshua not only personally upheld the laws of God, but his last accomplishment as Israel’s leader was to make a covenant between God and the people to affirm all of God’s laws and decrees.
Therefore, from beginning to end, the secret of Joshua’s success as a leader was to be obedient to God’s commands. He led by example in his own house and desired for everyone around him to do the same, Joshua 24:15. As leaders, people follow what we do more than what we say. And we can never impart to people what we don’t have. As a result, I pray that you and I can follow Joshua’s example of faithfulness to “be careful to do everything” God commanded.
Do you lead others by your Christ-like example?
- Repent if you have not been a good leader because of personal sin and hypocrisy.
- Make a decision like Joshua, that by faith you and your house will serve the Lord.
- Like Joshua, by faith, lead others by your Christ-like example.