Some of the greatest leadership lessons in history are found in the Old Testament. The biography of Joshua would be a best seller today for business, government, non-profit and church leaders alike.
Joshua’s character was stellar.
Joshua’s personal strength was extraordinary.
Joshua’s faith was profound.
Joshua’s skill was unparalleled – as a military commander and administrative tactician.
Yet, what made Joshua a truly great leader is found toward the end of his story. Joshua had led Israel’s 600,000 solider army on conquests to obtain the Promised Land for decades. With the help of the Lord he defeated enemy after enemy in convincing fashion. He provided security and provisions for the entire nation of Israel which was likely north of 3 million people by this time. After the conquests he administered the ‘inheritance’ to all the tribes of Israel, seeing that each tribe had sufficient land and resources to flourish.
When all the enemies had been conquered, all the people situated, boundaries setup and administration organized you read these powerful words in Joshua 19:49-50 –
When they had finished dividing the land into its allotted portions, the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun an inheritance among them, as the Lord had commanded. They gave him the town he asked for—Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. And he built up the town and settled there.
Joshua got his cut last. Joshua took care of everyone else, then settled on a piece of land. What humility. What a great leadership lesson.
A great leader doesn’t use people to build his empire. A great leader uses their power, authority and influence to build up the people they lead.
This was Joshua. May it be us.