Remember singing this song at church when we were kids?
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho
The walls came tumblin’ down
We know this Joshua, right? The fearless leader who takes the helm after Moses dies. We’ve read his famous war tales throughout the book of Joshua as he victoriously led God’s people into the promised land.
But we might not be as familiar with this Joshua.
“Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God.” Exodus 24:13
“Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.” Exodus 33:11
I hadn’t noticed this Joshua before. There were only subtle mentions of his name throughout Exodus. But now that I see it, I wonder how I could have missed it!
When Moses was leading the Israelites, Joshua was by his side. He was his young aide. Joshua was positioned under Moses. So he wasn’t just some random Israelite who become the next leader of Israel. He was first an assistant who was trained by Moses.
I think we can learn a lot from Joshua. He positioned himself under Moses–a very Godly influence and leader. He was a follower before he became a leader. He was a learner before he became the teacher. Joshua knew Moses knew God. So he was drawn to him, hung around him, listened to him, and learned from him. And when it came time for the Lord to pick a leader to replace Moses, Joshua was at the top of the list. He was ready to lead because of how he had been led.
Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
I want to be like Joshua. I want to surround myself with Godly influences. I am so drawn to people who know God. You know the type of people I’m talking about. There is such a beautiful humility about them. They aren’t perfect, but they are real. Authentic. When they speak, the Lord speaks through them. They share the realness of God in their lives. God is not just someone they believe in, He’s someone they know. I’m drawn to that. I’m drawn to Him in them. I want to learn from them. I want to walk with the wise so that I will hopefully become wise.
Joshua was that guy. He put himself under Moses’s leadership. And eventually he became an incredible leader.
I think the best teachers are great learners. And the best leaders are great followers.
But you know what else I noticed about Joshua? And I almost missed this too.
“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.” Exodus 33:11
Did you catch it? That last part?
“but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.”
After Moses left the Lord’s presence in the tent of meeting, Joshua lingered. He did not leave the tent to follow Moses.
I think Joshua stayed near the tent because he longed to experience the Lord’s presence for himself.
Friends, it is a beautiful thing to surround ourselves with Godly influences who reflect our Lord, but we cannot just follow their lead.
We must first and foremost follow the Lord for ourselves.
We cannot live out our Christian walk vicariously through others. It’s a journey that requires we each have our own real, personal, and ongoing relationship with God.
So here’s my question. Do you long to walk with God Himself? Are you drawn to Him? Like Joshua, do you choose to linger in His presence? Yes, Moses reflected the Lord beautifully. But there is no teacher like the Great Teacher. There is no leader like the Lord of Hosts. There is no one wiser than walking with the very essence of Wisdom Himself.
Is He more than someone you believe in? Is He someone you know?
If He is, wonderful! Walk with Him. You will become wise. And then find people who love Him with all their hearts and walk with them.
If you don’t really know many Godly people, may I make a suggestion? Get in a life group at your church. If you only go to the main church service on Sundays, that’s great, but you will never truly “do life” with other Christians unless you are in a life group. The life group I am a part has greatly impacted my life. That’s where I have met some of the most amazing Godly people I know. We talk about life and study God’s Word together. It is unbelievable what I learn from them each week.
Then, can I make one more suggestion? When you find a few Godly friends in your life group, ask them to be a part of a discipleship group with you. Then meet with them on a weekly basis. Study God’s Word together and hold each other accountable. It will change your life. I know it has changed mine. It’s the highlight of my week. And I am learning things through them and through scripture that I would never have learned otherwise.
As the old African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
So be a Joshua. Find a Moses. And when you find yourself like Joshua at the tent of meeting, don’t be in a hurry to leave. Linger in His presence for a while.
We become what we behold.