I preached a longer sermon than expected for the College's devotions yesterday. Usually it is an 15 min homily but yesterday I preached for 25 mins and continued after the bell rang for class. I was only asked to preach the day before and my instant reaction was to turn it down but after a short prayer in my heart I accepted the invitation. It had been 2 months since I preached at College during the orientation and I felt I needed to address a few issues concerning leadership since it is election year for our denomination.
We have read and heard Joshua 1,2-9 preached so often that we may think nothing new could be gleaned from it. But as I meditated on God's Word I managed to find a new angle, at least new to me. I thought I should concentrate on Joshua being the general of Israel's army and he was on a war mission to conquer Canaan. Surprisingly the text does not mention any military tactics or strategy except that as a soldier in the front line courage and bravery are needed most. But above all in the Joshua's text, it is the obedience to God's law that is paramount in Joshua's assumption of leadership. Verses 7 & 8 of ch. 1 make it clear that Joshua had to pay close attention as to how he followed God's law in all its details. Joshua is not to be swerved from obeying the Law fully, either turning to the right or to the left. He is to speak of the Law to his people, the army of Israel and meditate on it day and night and if he is faithful in doing so, he is guaranteed success in battles. What an investiture command! Not to be able to out manouvre the enemies or be merciless in killings but to faithfully do what God says in his laws or in what He has instructed Moses for Israel's keeping. I concluded my message by emphasizing that leadership in our denomination is not picked based on whether he can raise funds or find money or even whether he is respected by other churches or in the ability to speak English but in his faithfulness to act in complete obedience to God's Word or to do theology in a positive sense and to lead the whole church to obey the Lord according to His Word. That I said is the primary leadership credential and the rest is secondary.