Joshua's First Assignment (Exodus 17:8-9)
Exodus 17:8-9, Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
Joshua is introduced to us suddenly in Exodus 17:8-9, where he is appointed by Moses to be the commander to mobilize and lead the Israelites to fight the Amalekites, whom he decisively conquers. In Exodus 17, the children of Israel are in celebration. They have just come out of the land of Egypt, journeying through the wilderness. Notice: This is how Amalek came to Israel. In Exodus 17:8, the Amalekites (a type of the flesh) came after a spiritual victory. Amalek is a descendant of Esau, a man of the flesh.
Apparently, Moses had already evaluated Joshua’s worth as a man of valor and a courageous leader. We read that Joshua did as Moses commanded him. He neither argued nor complained; he simply obeyed. If he was going to lead the people, he needed first of all to learn to take orders. From this first introduction of Joshua we realize that learning to serve was a necessary part of his training. In God’s school of obedience, Joshua was prepared for leadership. He had to learn to obey before he was qualified to command. God normally gives us a period of preparation before placing us in a position of authority.
The plan of battle was simple. Joshua was to fight; Moses was to pray. Moses promised to go to the top of the highest hill surrounding the battle field, to lift up the rod of God, appealing and calling out to God in prayer. When enemies attack us, our only hope is the Lord, going before Him and crying out for help. Prevailing prayer is our only hope. When the enemy attacks, as God’s children, must go before God in prayer. Every believer needs to prevail in prayer. There are times when we, our loved ones, friends, church, and co-workers need special prayer crying out to God.
In all those years of ministry to Moses, Joshua was faithful. It was behind the scenes that Joshua proved his worth. Then, after so many years of faithfulness, God commanded him to assume the position of leadership of this great people. We also are to be faithful in every situation in which God places us. Who can tell what God is training us for? Sometimes our small sphere of service seems to be so insignificant and we may feel that we are suited for something better. We may be in a place which seems to be leading nowhere and is very unimportant and perhaps, unproductive. It is then that we are to see beyond the immediate and trust that God will accomplish His purpose in our lives. Let us not turn and seek another path when God is in the process of making us and preparing us for something of which we now know nothing. Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’ (Matthew 4:19). When He is busy making us and preparing us, we must allow Him to do it, even if at the time it seems to us to be unclear or unsuitable.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to always be faithful when You call me to an assignment. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.