Joshua 2:1-3 “1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there. 2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country. 3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country. 4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were:” (KJV).
Joshua sends out spies to gain information about the city of Jericho. He sends two men, who upon entering the city stayed at a harlot’s house. The woman Rahab allows the Hebrew men a place to stay. But news travels fast, even in those days. The King wants to know who these men are that have come into his city to gather intelligence. When Rehab is questioned, she lies in order to protect the men.
While much has been written about the story of Rahab, I want to continue my focus on the leadership skills of Joshua. Notice that Joshua sent spies in order to gather strategic information concerning the city. We know that Joshua has already been promised victory over the city, so why did he need to spy out the land of Jericho? Joshua 1:3, “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that Have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses” (KJV).
Joshua was being proactive in his leadership. Sending out spies to gather specific information about the city would provide the details needed to carry out the best possible attack. He was also being responsible with the Lord’s blessings and promises. “Joshua’s faith was manifested by an active, persevering use of means; and accordingly Joshua, while confident in the accomplishment of the divine promise, adopted every precaution which a skillful general could think of to render his first attempt in the invasion of Canaan successful” (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, (1961). James 2:22 “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works and by works was faith made perfect” (KJV).
Leadership requires a continuous and proactive response. When we lead others, we need to be ready for anything. Working and leading a ministry requires us to ready for the next step or stage. The Lord may be waiting for us to be proactive before he will allow us the blessings of growth. Joshua had prepared for his new leadership responsibilities for years and once he was given the charge over Israel, he continued to prepare for what the Lord set before him.
There may be times when you are ready to take a break and put your ministry in neutral. Everything may be going well and you are in a stage of great blessings and growth, but this should be the time when we recharge and continue to move forward. Be proactive and ready for the next stage of growth. This applies to leadership as well as our own personal relationship with the Lord.
The Silent Preacher
Fausset, A., Jamieson, R., & Brown, D. (1961). Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s commentary on the whole Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House.