When you look up the name Joshua in the Bible, you find words like conqueror, leader, and warrior – all inspiring titles. But from where I sit, my days look anything but heroic.
I know there are many lessons to be learned from Joshua’s courage and obedience during his conquests towards the promised land. However, in this season of motherhood where I find myself battling the world’s pressure for an explanation of my life’s purpose, I crave a way to connect more deeply with Joshua’s story. All of our stories start somewhere, after all, and as someone who feels as if I’m floating around in that ‘somewhere’ part of life, I wanted to look at where Joshua came from. What made him who he was? How was he able to discern the will of the Lord so clearly? How was he able to lead so confidently?
The very first mention of Joshua in the Bible occurs in chapter 17 of Exodus. We open on his life somewhere around the age of 40-45 years old when Moses chooses Joshua to lead the Israelites against Amalek. Moses tells Joshua,
Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. Exodus 17:9-11.
After Moses’ arms grew weary on top of the hill, Aaron and Hur supported his body as he held up the staff until the Israelites had won. Verse 14 continues, “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.’ ” (Exodus 17:14).
We see God giving Joshua an opportunity to learn first-hand what courage and obedience looked like in Moses, a man who knew God face-to-face. Moments like this were used by God to prepare Joshua both mentally and spiritually to become the successor to Moses who 40 years later in leading the Israelites into the promised land. Now you and I may not be leading a nation anytime soon, but the message I take from this is to live today exactly how God has instructed you. Walk in obedience. Absorb every moment. God has divinely planned these circumstances to teach and prepare you for the purpose to which He has called you.
Our obedience fills the gap between having faith IN God and experiencing victory THROUGH God.
Every time I read this story, I linger on verse 14; God tells Moses to recite it back to Joshua after writing it down. Joshua needed to be trained from the beginning of his leadership role that any victory experienced was a demonstration of God fulfilling His promise.Women, we are to recite the faithful promises of God to those around us. Through this, glory will always be given to God and we will recognize how our obedience in faith can be used by God to accomplish victory.
Just as Joshua’s future was forever defined by the example he had in watching the faith and leadership of Moses, we too can learn from the generation before us. And then we can turn around and fill that same role for the generation after us. You are exactly where God wants you to be. Lead and be led.
About the Writer:
Audra has a passion for encouraging women in their roles at home in both marriage and motherhood. She enjoys sharing her journey of refinement and learning through these important transitions on her blog called The Homegrown Project.