On that day the Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him.Joshua 4:14
How many parents would love for their children to honor them? The first commandment with a promise is “Honour thy father and mother.” (Ephesians 6:2) The value of parents being respected by children is life-changing. The promise of following this way God established is “that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:3)
Children would do well to heed this instruction. If they want a good, long life; they need to respect and follow their parent’s leadership. God established this parental-authority. God promotes this leader-follower lifestyle. Likewise, parents would do well to understand the magnitude of their responsibility in the life of their children.
In the book of Joshua in the Old Testament, Joshua was set as the leader over the children of Israel. The people were to follow Joshua into the promised land, the land God had given them. Very early in the leadership of Joshua, God determined he would exalt Joshua as the leader in the eyes of the people. That means God enabled the people to see Joshua as the one who would be making the decisions and their position would be to listen and follow.
Joshua never asked for God to magnify him in the eyes of the people. God chose to magnify Joshua. God determined the people would follow and that Joshua would lead them.
When parents have children, God has determined the parents are the leaders and the children are the followers. This is the proper order and promotes wellness and longevity.
Joshua was already established as the leader of the children of Israel before God “magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel.” What made the difference? What had Joshua done? Why was it necessary for Joshua to be exalted as the leader?
God had allowed the children of Israel to see Joshua as their leader. Therefore, they recognized themselves as the followers. They were to listen to Joshua’s instruction and do what he said to do. God enabled the children of Israel to intrinsically know they would have a better future by following the leadership of Joshua.
Joshua had shown himself faithful as a follower. He had been first and foremost a follower of God. Then, he had been a “right-hand-man” to Moses. Joshua had learned from Moses’ leadership. Moses had mentored Joshua.
At one time, Joshua had been the follower and now it was his turn to lead. As the leader, Joshua was responsible to make decisions that would impact all the people who would come after him for generations. If he made the wrong decision, many people could be killed, leaving widows and orphans in the aftermath. It was absolutely necessary for the people to do things just as Joshua directed because if they didn’t, the outcome of the plan would be affected. Even if Joshua made the right decisions, if the people did not listen and follow, the outcome would be disastrous.
When we consider our roles as parents, it is very important to ensure we have the same mind-set that Joshua had. We must make sure we are doing the following:
- FOLLOWING GOD
- FOLLOWING OTHER GOOD LEADERS
- UNDERSTANDING THE DECISIONS WE MAKE ARE IMPACTING GENERATIONS TO COME
It was Joshua’s commitment to God, his leaders, and his understanding of the importance of making right decisions that caused God to magnify Joshua in the sight of all Israel.
When we as parents set our house in order to ensure we are following God, following good leaders, and understand the decisions we make within our four walls are impacting generations to come; then God will exalt us in the eyes of our children. It is when we are faithful in our responsibilities we can look to God to enable the children we are leading to be faithful in their responsibility to follow. God will enable children to see the parents as the ones who would be making the decisions and their position would be to listen and follow.
Psalm 23 ends with the words, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” The life of Joshua was a life of goodness and mercy. His life was a life of obtaining the promises of God, living in the light of His love, and experiencing the compassions of the Great God Almighty. Joshua is now living in the house of the Lord forever.
May our prayer to God be to make us leaders in our home as Joshua was for the children of Israel – and – ask God to magnify our leadership in the eyes of our children. The outcome of this leadership will impact generations to come with a desire to follow, have good, live long, experience mercy, and live forever under God’s care.
Written By: Anne Gurley