Not a Me-First New Year

This scripture shows Israel at an ending sort of like we are being faced with a new year.  It was the ending of the journey to the Promised Land and the ordeal of the conquest.  Now came time for the dividing of and possession of the land so they could move in and take what God had given them.  Notice Joshua’s portion.  Instead of being first he was last.  That was the type of person he was.  As leader of Israel he was not a me-first person.  He wanted the people to consider him last so he put them first.

Joshua 19: 49 When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them:50 According to the word of the Lord they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.51 These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So they made an end of dividing the country.

Joshua and Caleb were with Moses.  Now an old man, he and Caleb were the only two left of that old generation who left Egypt.  They had been through the wilderness.  Upon his death Moses put Joshua in charge.  He was afraid.  He didn’t look for limelight.  He obeyed and did a good job in leading the people.  He was a great encourager.  After the land had been conquered and the tribes gathered for the dividing of the land, you would think he’d be first in line to get his part.  He earned it and deserved it.

We’re all important for our church to be a success.  Everybody has a place.  Joshua may have deserved to be first in line, but he didn’t go there.  I can see him step backward instead of forward.  With tears he saw the people receive the promise.  Each tribe had their territory laid out for them.  It was his joy to see the others blessed.

We should rejoice to see someone get saved or someone get an answer to prayer.  We all have needs.  We have a life to live.  There are things we’d like to have.  Joshua liked to see his brothers and sisters inherit the land.  That’s the heartbeat of Christianity.  It’s not me first.  It’s me last.  In God’s eyes we are on equal ground with the Lord.  This is the way we fulfill our role. It was the lifeblood of Jesus.  He came for us.  He went to the cross for us.  He arose for us so we could have a living, reigning Savior.  He’s all for us.  This was Joshua’s attitude.

It’s a me-first world.  It we want to glorify God be like Joshua and step back.  See that others are blessed.  Joshua could have staked his claim.  He may have been offered the best but he wanted the people to have it.  They gave him the small town he asked for.  By putting Jesus first, others second, and ourselves last we win.

Would they have forsaken Joshua?  He proved himself again and the children of Israel realized he had stepped back.  They gave him the small part he wanted.  We ought to want others to have what God wants them to have.  The leaders of the tribes gave Joshua his town and probably tried to give him more.  He took only that small portion.  We don’t need more than we need.  Joshua was right in the center of Israel and could probably look at a good portion of the land from all around his house.

Be a me-last child of God and you’ll be happy.  The man who chose me last and you first is the child of God we need to be.  Step back.  Put others first.  Wait and see what the Lord will do.

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