When they had finished dividing the land into its allotted portions, the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun an inheritance among them, 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. Joshua 19 vv 49-50
As the Organiser/Leader, Joshua might well have staked his claim first, but no – he waits until everything has been settled and only then chooses his destination. There are several interesting things here.
First, the town he chose was Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. It sounds as if it needed a fair degree of reconstruction work too! This was not far from Shiloh, which during this part of the history of Israel was the main religious centre for the nation. It was the place to which Israelites went for the main festivals and for worship. The Tabernacle was housed there, and the Ark of the Covenant was kept there. In other words, Joshua chose to be near the place where he could worship. That is an important element to be considered when anyone thinks about moving home and settling down. Of course, we don’t need buildings and great congregations in order to worship God. The reality is however that if we do move a great distance from a congregation then we are unlikely to join the worshipping community frequently, and that will be to our detriment.
Second, Joshua only made his choice once everyone else was settled. Rather than saying ‘Me first – I want the best’, he was content to make his decision last – after everyone else. Now that is humble leadership. Spiritual leadership is a matter of putting the needs of others before one’s own. In Philippians 2 vv 20-21 Paul commends Timothy, saying ‘I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.’ The servant leader puts himself at the end of the queue, not the beginning; claims no rights beyond that of being a servant for Jesus.
For reflection: Where do you head for when a queue forms?