After the death of Moses, Joshua became the leader of the Israelites. I dare say he didn’t covet the task, considering the difficulties Moses had experienced with such a reluctant people. Joshua didn’t ask for the job. It was thrust upon him. God told him to arise, go over the Jordan River, and take the land of Canaan (A daunting task indeed).
“Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’ ‘Neither,’ he replied, ‘but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.’ Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’” (Joshua 5:13-14, NIV).
Look at Joshua in this passage. What would you have done in such a situation? Note Joshua’s response: “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” That’s the true spirit of obedience. Will it be my response? Will it be yours?
When the Jews, on the day of Pentecost, learned that Jesus was both Lord and Christ, they cried out, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Then, in a spirit of obedience, about three thousand repented and were baptized (Acts 2:37-41). You see that same kind of response in the life of Saul of Tarsus. After his encounter with Christ, this noted persecutor became an obedient servant, and an ardent professor of Christ.
In becoming a Christian, and living as a Christian, there’s no better question to ask than that of Joshua’s. What message does my Lord have for his servant?
-John Gipson, Little Rock, Ark.; via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through their website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com