Josh Ritter – Change of Time
I can’t imagine the pressure that Joshua must have felt when he took the reins from Moses. Passing the baton of leadership is rarely a smooth process and in the case of Joshua and Moses, I would think that the potential for things to turn out poorly was multiplied several times over. These are the sorts of things said about Moses…
Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. Numbers 12:3
No prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt. Deuteronomy 34:10-11
The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Exodus 33:11
When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. Exodus 34:30
Needless to say, Moses would be a tough act to follow. And that less than enviable privilege lands squarely on Joshua’s shoulders. I’ve sometimes wondered what it was that God saw in Joshua. Was he a fearless leader? Probably not. Otherwise, God wouldn’t have needed to remind him repeatedly to not be afraid. By my count, he’s had to tell him twice so far. He will hear it again at least another half dozen times.
We aren’t told of his wisdom or intelligence. Nor do we hear about his having a magnetic personality. No mention of his skill in battle.
What we do know is that he had faith. He took God at his word. He and Caleb believed God would come through on his promises back at Kadesh Barnea, and apparently that faith stuck with him into the future. In short, what qualified him to stand in the large shoes vacated by Moses was a belief that God would carry the day.
I suppose there are times when that is all it takes to be set apart from the crowd.