Day 21: Joshua 23
This chapter has the title ‘Joshua’s farewell to the leaders’. Joshua was a much loved and revered leader who had successfully led the people through their conquest of the land. You could say he was a hero.
For all his success, his distinguished career was about to come to an end, as the passage tells us that he was advanced in age. Joshua’s desire for the people is that they would continue to follow God. He knew that his departure would be sad and painful, but that their success going forward was not going to be found in their dependence on him, but in their dependence upon God. That’s why Joshua reminds the people in verse 3 that it was God who had done everything they had seen and God who had fought for them.
There are many times in our Christian journeys where our dependence can be placed on people. When we first come to Christ, the friends and leaders around us are so key to our growth, they help teach and disciple us. That was definitely true for me, aged 17 – my new christian friends were my heroes!
Perhaps your husband or wife has been a Christian longer than you, and you know that you rely on them a lot when it comes to the things of God.
Maybe you’re on a team in church, and there are times that come when you feel totally out of place, but you have a good friend who helps you through.
At times we all find ourselves depending on the faith of others to grow ourselves. That is not a bad thing! The apostle Paul even said in the New Testament, ‘imitate me as I imitate Christ’ (1 Corinthians 11:1). The challenge is that people come and go, and sometimes the people we considered to be our heroes will leave you hurt and disappointed.
When this happens, we must run to God and not away from him. The journey towards maturity requires that we learn to depend fully on God. The people around us still play their part, but ultimately when our heroes move on, our dependence on God must remain strong. God after all is the one who never changes, and can always be relied upon no matter what the circumstance or season.
My prayer as you read this is that whatever season you find yourself in, you are growing in your dependence on God.
Ps Dan Hoyle
Bishop Auckland Campus Pastor