And the Lord said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city. ~Joshua 8:18
Spears were ancient weapons that were used in battle for many years. In the hands of a skilled warrior, the spear was a deadly weapon that could take out many foes. On one end of the spear was the sharp tip that could pierce. The other end could be used as a staff and deliver a blunt blow to the head or the body of the foe. God told Joshua to “stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai.” Joshua’s spear became a powerful symbol for his leadership at a critical moment. This morning, we are encouraged to stretch out the spear that is in thine hand.
We see the confidence in leadership.
Only one man was commanded to stretch out his spear and that was Joshua. The spear in his hand that was pointing to Ai made it very clear that he was God’s leader in charge. His spear was not pointing at a person, but on an objective and a command he was given. First, we see the faith of Joshua. Joshua had faith in God’s Word. Faith in God’s Word demands nothing less than obedience. He also had faith in God’s will. God’s will was that He would lead Israel to claim the land of Canaan. Second, we see the faith of the people. The eyes of the people were on Joshua until the battle was finished and victory was attained. If he dropped the sear, it would have meant his faith in God had diminished, and this would have affected the confidence of the men who were fighting. Hold your spear tightly, and keep it pointed at the objective!
We see the compass in leadership.
“And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city.” Leaders set the direction. The hymn writer wrote, “Where he leads me I will follow.” Leadership must be fixed in direction. Joshua stretched the spear in his hand toward the city of Ai. Leadership must be faithful in direction. If a leader is not sure where he is going, what message does this send to those following him? Setting the direction tells those following us we are going forward! Setting the direction tells those following us we are on the right path!
We see the courage from leadership.
Israel needed a morale boost after its shameful defeat from Ai at the first attempt. As long as Joshua kept the spear pointed at the city, the men of war were infused with courage to fight and win. Joshua’s leadership was where he could be seen. His leadership was where he could be trusted. Even as he tired from holding out his spear, Joshua maintained his position and kept it pointed at Ai. He knew the wrong movement on his part would cause fear and distrust. His leadership told those fighting, “We can do it!” His leadership unified the men and gave them undaunted courage that they would be victorious.
We see the conquest through leadership.
“For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.” Joshua stayed in his place with his spear extended towards Ai until every inhabitant was destroyed. Leaders stay focused until the finish. The conquest was completely decisive. They destroyed the enemy. They claimed all of the possessions. They took the city. The king of Ai was hung on a tree. Joshua built an altar and the law of God was copied out on stones. What a difference from when Israel was shamefully defeated the first time. A thorough conquest had been accomplished.
Where are you doing with the spear God has placed in your hand? Where are you pointing your spear? Hold it tightly, and keep it stretched out!
Have a faithful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 33-34