I’ll go last

Joshua 19:49-50 49 When they had finished dividing the land into its allotted portions, the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun an inheritance among them, 50 as the LORD had commanded. They gave him the town he asked for—Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. And he built up the town and settled there.

Have you ever been the last one to be chosen?  Or possibly you have been the last in a very long line.  Going last requires patience and endurance.  Going last means you have to be content with what is left over.  Going last means that you might not get the best choice.  So who would choose to go last?  Why would someone want to do that on purpose?  I find here in Joshua 19 that a good leader would.

Joshua has been spending much of his time handing out the different pieces of land to the Israelites.  This must have been an exciting time, because these people didn’t know what it was like to have their own land.  Some of them may have been children when their parents were slaves in Egypt.  But most of them had been wandering around the desert for 40 years with no place to call home.  I am sure that Joshua was eager to claim some land of his own as well.  And what I see reflected in today’s worldly leadership is that they take care of themselves first and then give to the rest of the people.  Joshua didn’t have this mentality; he trusted the Lord.

When you trust in the Lord, last place doesn’t matter.  Even though Joshua took nothing for himself, the Israelites turned back to him and said, “take whatever you want.”  So he chose a hill country in the land of his family.  It was just what he wanted and he didn’t have to set it aside first.  This is the kind of leadership that God is looking for.  He desires a man who will lay down his rights and serve the people he is leading.  But we know that Jesus told us that he who lays down his life will find it.  He told us the last shall be first.  So there is no need to worry, no cause to fear.  When we put others before ourselves, we give God the opportunity to lift us up.

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