Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of Joshua
Before being the consummate warrior, leader of men, and one possessing the high honor of having had dialogue with God Himself, Joshua was a servant, an aide and understudy to Moses. For forty years Joshua served faithfully and before Moses dies, God tells Moses to commission Joshua to lead the people into the Promised Land.
Joshua was faithful, and his faithfulness was rewarded in due season. He never attempted to take power for himself, or dispossess Moses of his authority in his latter years; he served in the capacity of his office, until God saw fit to promote him to a higher office still.
Of the many lessons the life of Joshua can teach us, this is perhaps the most profound, yet most often overlooked of all. Be content with where God has positioned you, be content in the calling to which you were called, do the work with which you were entrusted to the best of your ability, with all your heart, and the day will come when having been faithful in the little, God will require greater things still.
We spend so much time trying to plot and plan and inch our way up the ladder, not realizing it is God who promotes, it is God who calls to a higher office, and if we would have spent the time just being faithful to the calling to which we are presently called, we would have been promoted long ago. The difference between man promoting himself, and God promoting him, is evident. When man promotes himself it is a difficult thing, like slogging through a muddy field, but when God promotes a man, it comes about with ease, and in such a way wherein everyone can see the hand of God at work.
Before one can lead, they must first learn how to serve. Before one can be entrusted with great things, they must first prove themselves faithful in the little things. If you trusted someone with a dollar, and they betrayed your trust, then you know that giving them ten thousand dollars would result in the same sort of betrayal. If however, you entrusted someone with a dollar, and they lived up to your expectation, then you know you can trust them with more.
Little things are tests on our way to greater things. This is why we must not despise what we would deem lesser callings, but faithfully set about doing our duty and being faithful in the calling to which we are called. Some are called to preach, others are called to pray, others to vacuum the sanctuary after everyone has left, but no one calling is less than another, for all of them work together toward the glory of God and furthering of His kingdom. God sees the act of obedience and faithfulness of an individual, not what it was they were obedient in. God rewards obedience in its purest form, regardless of what He commanded of the individual.
Not only did Joshua serve at the behest of Moses, he learned from him, and applied that which he learned throughout his hundred and ten year life. It’s not enough to have a good example, it is not enough to have a good role model, if we reject their counsel and set about following a different path than that upon which they walked.
Joshua knew Moses was a man of God, he saw the power of God in the life of Moses, he saw what God did through him, and desired to be used in like manner when his time came. Because Joshua desired to be used of God as Moses was, he applied the same virtues and practices he had seen Moses practicing, one of which was consistent and heartfelt prayer.
The life of Joshua in its entirety is an awe inspiring one, seeing as he was close to 90 years of age when God called him to lead the people. When most individuals would be well into their retirement, God calls Joshua to lead Israel, not during peacetime, but during a season wherein their enemies were plentiful and the battles they had to wage became some of the most talked about military campaigns ever waged.
The life of Joshua also confirms what many have known for generations: that being a warrior and being a man of prayer are not mutually exclusive. One would be hard pressed to find a military mind as brilliant as Joshua’s in the Bible, or a more consummate soldier for that matter, but Joshua is also a man who prayed often, obeyed without complaint, and kept faith with the promises of God even when others doubted them.
What endears me most to Joshua took place early on in his life, when he, along with Caleb, and ten others were sent to spy out the land of Canaan. For forty days these men spied on the land of their enemies, and when they returned, all but two namely Caleb and Joshua, gave reports of frightful giants whom they could not hope to overcome.
Joshua and Caleb remembered the promises of God, and stood on them. They did not see the giants as an obstacle that could not be overcome, but rather as an opportunity for God to show His power once more.
Depending on whether or not we stand on the promises of God, we will either see the obstacles in our lives as insurmountable, or as an opportunity to see the glory of God.
It was upon reading this passage in the Scriptures many years ago, that I was instantly drawn to Joshua, his life, his leadership, and his relationship with God.
Although there are many prayers Joshua prayed throughout his life, we will be discussing one prayer in particular. It is a prayer he prayed after being beaten back at the gates of Ai, even though Jericho, a far stronger and more imposing city had just been vanquished.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.