Today there are a lot of books and podcast on leadership, and a lot of it is really good stuff. However, some of the best leadership stories the world has ever seen get over looked, because they are in the Bible. Joshua is one such example. He was called to lead close to 3 million people into the land of promise and help them conquer the land and get the people settled in the right provinces.

The life of Joshua is a text book on what good leadership looks like. Here is one illustration from chapter 3.:1-8,17

Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Acacia Grove and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they crossed over. So it was, after three days, that the officers went through the camp; and they commanded the people, saying,”When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.”  And Joshua said to the people,”Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”  Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying,”Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. And the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you have come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.”  Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.

Lessons we can learn from Joshua here in Chapter 3:

  • Leaders rise early to seek the Lord. V.1a
  • Leaders go first, they pave the way and they chart the course. The Priest were to go first and the people were to follow. V.2-4
  • Leaders call the people to purity V.5
  • Great leaders are made and appointed by God, not self appointed. V.7
  • Leaders patiently stand in the gap and in the place of danger and pressure.

I wonder how long it took for three million people to cross the Jordan? How heavy was the ark? I think one of the best ways a leader can stand in the gap for those around him is in prayer. How are you leading ? Does your leadership in your family, your business, your church resemble these attributes?