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Read Joshua 1:10-18
 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people:  “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.'”  But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said,  “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you after he said, ‘The LORD your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’  Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them  until the LORD gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the LORD your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”  Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.  Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the LORD your God be with you as he was with Moses.  Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did the people respond to Joshua's leadership?
With God’s words still ringing in his ears, Joshua takes charge. His first command is a very practical and necessary one (11). His second command is to the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh to play their part in the entry into the land. This is a test of his command, because there’s nothing in it for them: the land they are to possess already lies behind them. Their response shows that they recognize the importance of putting the interests of other people before their own. They accept their part in the bigger picture of what God is doing. And their response, both in what they do, and in what they say (18), also shows their acceptance and affirmation of Joshua in his leadership. It’s not blind obedience (we should never act like that) and they underline the command the Lord has already given him (see the end of v. 18). They recognize that he really is the one whom God has called to step into Moses’ shoes (17).
How can you affirm the leaders God has given you and serve others, even when there’s nothing in it for you?
Lord, help me to be a good support to the leaders over me, and to serve others with the same sacrificial spirit Jesus had.
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