“So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.” And then the passage goes on to tell of these leaders who have died and been buried…each one in the land of his own inheritance.
Joshua in Timnath-serah of Ephraim; Joseph in Shechem; and Eleazar at Gibeah.
God delivered on His promise to give them an inheritance and these men experienced that fulfillment. The very fact that their bones rest, each in their own unique place, is a testimony and memorial that God has been faithful to His Word.
In the middle of the passage we find this:
“Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the Lord did for Israel.” It is wonderful. You might call the time of Joshua and his generation the “glory days.” Israel served the Lord. The leaders had known first hand all the Lord had done and it served the people who looked to them.
But the verse implies something not so wonderful, that when those leaders were gone Israel stopped serving the Lord? It’s historically true. The nation lost it’s focus. New leaders rose up and the bad out weighted the good. So what’s the lesson here?
1. To me as an individual – “fix my eyes on Jesus.” His leadership never wavers or goes away. He “knows all the work the Lord has done” and the Holy Spirit will bring that to my memory.
2. To me as a leader (of whatever description) – be that reminder that Jesus is alive and well and working in our midst – speak to this reality FROM MY OWN LIFE. Joshua and his leadership KNEW and SAW what God had done. Maybe if the next set of “leaders” had experienced God for themselves they might have had a stronger message of encouragement.
3. Everybody is some kind of leader, some kind of message. What’s the billboard I’m holding up?
You LORD, are the one and only TRUE LEADER.
In every situation, ask myself: “How do I fix my eyes on Jesus in this?”
About the World?
How I live my life is a message for all the world to see.