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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 11, 2021

Daily Reading: Joshua 1-4


Joshua 1:1

Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,


Before Joshua was promoted to lead Israel, he was Moses' minister. Since Exodus 24:13 Joshua served Moses. After all, the title "minister" means servant. Herein is an Old Testament illustration on leadership; before God promotes anyone to leadership they first must learn to be a servant. Through serving others God proves the nature, or character, of a person seeing if they are fit for leadership. If any person desires to be a leader, let them first be found faithful as a servant.


Jesus did. In fact, it was He who said: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:44-45) Many people desire the place of great leadership. They thrill at the prominence, they wonder at the freedom (so they think), and they marvel at the power of leaders. Only to find out upon promotion to such a lofty position of leader, that leadership is nothing more than a higher form of servitude.


Ask any mother about the leader/servant dynamic. Ask any pastor. They will tell you. At their very highest pinnacle of calling they are no more than wonderful servants. It may be that one who serves a leader may think the leader has total and complete freedom. Little however do they know that every leader inherits a duality of servitude. They serve both the one who has placed them into the leadership position, and they serve the ones who follow them.


Joshua did. While being Moses' minister his sole concern was Moses. Upon being promoted into the leadership position of Moses, Joshua learned that His servitude extended to the God of His calling, as well as to the people of Israel. He accepted the responsibility and he excelled.


Every crisis of leadership can be traced back to a failure of the leader to minister or serve, either to the one placing them into the leadership role, or the ones they lead; this is my opinion on leadership. But let me go further. For a leader to blame those above, leadership is lost in that their lack of actual leadership is exposed. On the other hand to cast blame upon those who follow also exposes their lack of leadership toward them. Hence, the long-lasting statement proves once again to be true: "Everything rises and falls on leadership." If any person desires to "make a difference" where they are, know this, the greatest difference a person can make is to serve others. For in this, the path of servitude leads to great leadership.


Joshua was a minister that was promoted to great a leadership responsibility. The book that bears his name is an intriguing one with the twists and turns of a great novel. Enjoy the read.


Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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