We all love to be lifted and to assume higher responsibilities especially if they are honourable and very rewarding. Sometimes we are called to take up responsibilities we are not fully prepared to (in our own eyes). These responsibilities can be in the family, in the community, at work or in the place of worship; they can pose a very big challenge really if you are the kind of person who is mindful of what is expected of you. Joshua, the son of Nun found himself saddled with such a responsibility and was very troubled.
English: Moses Blesses Joshua Before the High Priest, as in Numbers 27:22, by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9 (NKJV).
Joshua knew all the troubles Moses passed through leading the Israelites and had never imagined the mantle would fall on him to carry on the job after Moses. He was aware of the external pressures and wars ahead; the assignment was overwhelming.
Solomon had the same concerns stepping into the shoes of David. Who but Absalom and Adonijah could assume that it was an easy job leading Israel? ( they were two young men who saw only the glamour of leadership without a thought about the responsibilities that goes with it).
1 Kings 2:28-35, says, “Then King David answered and said, “Call Bathsheba to me.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. And the king took an oath and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress, just as I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ so I certainly will do this day.”
Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and paid homage to the king, and said, “Let my lord King David live forever!”
And King David said, “Call to me Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” So they came before the king. The king also said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and take him down to Gihon. There let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, and he shall be king in my place. For I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah.”
You may want to read the whole story in 1 Kings Chapters 1 and 2.
Solomon had to turn to God for help. 1 Kings 2:3-15, says “And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.
Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice,behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
Then Solomon awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.”
Many times, some people get carried away with self and make erroneous presumptions that they can handle life challenges on their own. They trust their training, exposures, counsellors, human wisdom and strength to see them through but the word of God says, “There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
A horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.
Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.” Ps. 33:16-19. (KJV)
- It is not weakness to turn to the Lord when you find yourself saddled with a big responsibility, especially when it involves leading and handling people. God strengthened Joshua and Solomon when they assumed enormous leadership responsibilities. God helped them. Joshua said later in life, “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.” Joshua 23:14 (NKJV) If the wisdom and ways of humans were enough there won’t be many crisis in the world today; whether they are political, economic or social problems.
- There is need to study and patience in the new assignment committed to you. The internet provides good access to do research and get vital tools to work with. Study the word of God and appropriate his promises.
- There is this uneasiness to look behind one’s shoulders to see who might be monitoring your efforts secretly. It is important to be courageous and boldly go about your work.
- It is not everybody that will appreciate your new lifting. You will have to go on with it; your success doesn’t even guarantee the approval of everybody.
- You need to do your work with the fear of the Lord. Don’t be carried away with pride or undermined others.
- Don’t waste your time criticizing your predecessors. Whatever thing they did or fail to do is part of history. You are now in charge; do your job.
- Learn to carry other people along. Synergy produces better results.
- Learn to create a balance between work and other aspects of life. Avoid burn-out.
If you have accepted the Lord as your Lord and saviour, you need to allow him to take control of every aspect of your life. He is able to help and comfort you. If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and saviour, do it today and you will have access to his limitless grace and power.
God will give you the power to succeed in every new responsibility; trust him.
Bible quotes: from www.biblegateway.com