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Developing Joshuas or Raising Judges

Judges 2:18-19
And when the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. 19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.

This is such an interesting time in the nation of Israel's history. Moses and Joshua are now dead, along with all from thier generation (Moses' prior to entry into the promised land, Joshua's since the entry and conquest of it). Vs. 10 says there was now a generation who didn't know the LORD or thework which He had done for them. (This reminds me that the church is always only one generation away from extinction, but that's another issue). What is interesting to me is that the LORD raises up leaders when we don't.

Moses had invested himself into Joshua early on. Joshua had peers that partnered with him (e.g. Caleb), and although I may be overlooking someone, I can't think of anyone that Joshua had prepared to hand the baton off to. Maybe Joshua was like many leaders - so busy with the tasks at hand that he thought leaders were being developped because they were involved in the process of taking the land. But being charged with a duty does not a leader make. I'm reminded how when Moses would go to talk with God, Joshua was around, sometimes even staying behind at the tabernacle.

This is a crucial issue because as I read about the conquest of Canaan, it was never completely finished according to the Lord's directions - drive out all the people in the land. I wonder if Joshua so focused on accomplishing the task that he never thought that this would take longer than his lifetime to accomplish? Most of what God calls us to do as leaders is beyond not only our ability to accomplish on our own, but I'm thinking it's fulfillment will take longer than our lifetime.

I'm grateful that God will always raise up leaders. But there is always a cost. In this case, it was a generation of people who didn't know the LORD or His works. What's the cost for me? It's my desire that New Horizons will have an impact on our community that lasts far beyond my lifetime, until He comes (which ever happens first). I better start developping some Joshuas.

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