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Characteristics of Godly Leadership

Today’s reading: Deuteronomy 32:48-Joshua 2:24

My selection: Deuteronomy 34:9-12

9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses. 10 And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 12 and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

My reflections: At Moses’ death, leadership of Israel was transferred to Joshua. Here we have a commentary on both Moses and Joshua that gives us several characteristics of godly leadership:

1. Wise. Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom. The task before Joshua would require great wisdom as the people were about to enter the Promised Land and face hostile nations. James 3:13-17 speaks of the qualities of the wisdom from above.

2. Duly installed. Moses officially ordained Joshua to take his place by the laying on of his hands. This action made the transition to Joshua seamless. From what we read in the Book of Joshua, he seems to have had no serious resistance to his leadership. Leaders who do plan for their replacement are wise. That planning should include clear communication both to the new leader and to the people who will follow him.

3. Authoritative. Joshua was effective because his leadership was in accordance with what the Lord had told Moses to do. His authority came from God through Moses. Moses’ epitaph exceeded that of any other prophet of Israel and Joshua respected that. Joshua did not seek to outdo his mentor but merely carry on the Lord’s assigned task into the new land.

Leadership is exercised at all levels. Your calling is not that of Moses or Joshua but at some level you are given the authority and responsibility to manage yourself, your time and your money. You may be a leader in your home and family, in the marketplace or in a profession. You may have employees or you may not. But you do have a sphere of leadership to exercise.

What is your God-given task? Are you full of the spirit of wisdom? Are you functioning with a clear mandate to act (i.e. are you duly installed)? Is your leadership authoritative but not self-seeking (derived from the Lord’s commands)? Are you content to do it without seeking to out-shine others? Is God’s glory what you long for in your situation? How does seeking God’s glory today affect your attitudes and actions in your job or role?

Tomorrow’s reading: Joshua 3:1-6:27

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