JOSHUA – A CASE STUDY IN LEADERSHIP (Part One)

Blog: Max Dawson
June 8, 2017
In our previous thoughts we identified leadership as the ability to influence others. “Leadership is influence.” It is the ability to get others to follow you, to look to you for guidance and direction. If no one is following your lead, are you really a leader?
Joshua will always be known as a great leader in Israel. His name is synonymous with victory and leadership. He was the leader of the tribe of Ephraim. When we study Numbers and 14, we see Joshua as one of the men who were sent to spy out the land of Canaan. In spite of his leadership qualities, it appears that he did not have much influence on others at this time.
It was Joshua and Caleb who brought back a good report of the land. The report expressed faith and confidence in God. The people of Israel should have listened to these two. Instead, they listened to the ten who brought back an evil report.
It is true that Joshua was a leader in the tribe of Ephraim (), but we don’t even know that he was able to influence his own tribe to do the right thing. In this case, having a position of leadership did not help much.
Why was Joshua not successful in influencing Israel to go into the Promised Land? It was because of leadership from the opposition. The ten spies who brought back the bad report influenced the people to reject what Joshua and Caleb said. This affirms the truth that leadership is influence–even if it is negative and unrighteous. The people were quick to believe the fearful report. That’s the way most folks are–they are more easily influenced by fear than by faith.
Joshua was a leader, but at this time he was unable to influence the people to do right. There is a lesson to be learned here. It is this: No matter how faithful a man might be, and no matter how pure his motives, there will always be opposition. Opposition against righteousness is sometimes very powerful.
What should men of faith like Joshua and Caleb do in the face of opposition?
THE FINAL WORD
Joshua and Caleb never gave up their faith and trust in God. Forty years later both of these men entered the Promised Land. Forty years later their confidence in the Lord was vindicated! Sometimes it takes a long time for that kind of vindication to come to pass. But leaders don’t give up!
All throughout those forty years, they maintained their belief that God would give Israel the land. And He did.
Persistent faith and optimism on the part of Joshua are powerful leadership traits. Those qualities are needed in God’s kingdom today.
Blessings to you, my dear friends,
–Max

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