Joshua had held his spear toward Ai, as a sign to destroy the city, and did not draw it back until all the people of Ai were destroyed. (Joshua 8:26 NCV)
I love how young Joshua is pictured in this passage of scripture. The whole Achan fiasco had just transpired a chapter earlier and as a result, the Israelites got their tails beat by Ai.
After doing what God had told him to do in punishing Achan and his family, Joshua earned back the favor of God. The next battle with Ai came and Joshua was determined to follow God’s instruction closely to win the battle. As a result, he held the end of his spear up toward Ai until the Israelites had defeated them.
2 things about Joshua 8:26 that we could do well to understand as leaders…
1. Follow God’s Instruction.
It may seem obvious, but as leaders of whatever you and I find ourselves leading, we have to put following God as a top priority. Sometimes it’s difficult to obey even when we know what’s right. Joshua did that in handling Achan a chapter before and he did that again in this situation by holding his spear. It may have seemed odd or even crazy at the time, but Joshua followed God and victory followed him and his men.
2. Follow God’s Instruction Completely.
God told Joshua to hold up his spear. I love the detail of the scripture here. Notice verse 26 says that he didn’t pull his spear back until the job was done. You see, as a leader and even as a person, it’s much easier to obey God at the beginning. When we have a fresh calling and passion and instruction from God, we can even do the hard things. It’s a different story after we’ve been doing it a while. The temptation is to let things slide, lose our enthusiasm, and drop the spear. Joshua held it up… he finished the job. He followed God completely and led the Israelites to victory. Don’t let the length of the journey ruin your determination for the vision. (click to tweet that sentence)
What have you learned about leading when things get tough?