There are quite a few passages that deal with the relationship of Moses and Joshua. I would encourage you to look at each, but here is a summary of what we learn from their mentoring relationship.
1. Joshua was selected for mentoring because he showed good potential (Exodus 17:8-16).
2. Joshua was given the opportunity for further service and training following the victory over Amalek (Exodus 24:12-14).
- He was given more opportunity to learn and develop as a leader because he had proven himself at this battle. His “promotion” was to a position of service.
- He was given the opportunity to go places and see things that even the 70 elders did not get to experience (Exodus 24:12-14, 32:15-18).
- When mentoring others we need to exercise patience. Moses did not make Joshua second or third in command, he just gave him an opportunity to serve. We need to be careful to not push people forward to fast.
3. Joshua showed love for and dedication to the the Lord and the tabernacle of the Lord (Exodus 33:9-12).
- Joshua was constantly around, learning, watching, growing, and maturing.
- Must preparation for leadership is often behind the scenes and under the radar. More than just leadership abilities, a knowledge of and love for God is essential in our growth and preparation
4. Joshua learned a lesson about humility from Moses (Numbers 11:24-30). Here we see that:
- Good mentors are secure in their calling and do not feel threatened by the gifts and blessings of others.
- Good mentors don’t envy when they see God using someone else.
- Good mentors don’t need to defend their position.
5. Joshua proved himself to have courage despite the fears of the majority (Numbers 13-14) While others focused on the obstacles, Joshua saw what the Lord could do for them. Because Joshua and Caleb tried to convince the people to trust God, they would be allowed to enter the land 40 years later. From Joshua we learn that those who would be Godly leaders must stand for what is right even when everyone else wants to do wrong. They must not be intimidated or allow fear to control them.
6. Moses prepared Joshua to receive the baton of leadership (Numbers 27:12-23). He honored him in front of the people, encouraged him, challenged him, and reminded him that God would be with him (Deuteronomy 31). From this, we learn:
- Of utmost important to us should be who will be our successor.
- God will ultimately choose the man, but we can help to prepare the men that God just might choose.
- As we prepare our successor, we need to honor him and do all in our power to encourage him and to make him a success.
- “We are not a success until we have a successor and we make him a success.” – Austin Gardner (my mentor)
7. The day came that Joshua had to step up and lead the people without Moses’ help (Joshua 1). The right kind of mentoring will prepare men for the day they will have to stand alone without their mentor. We must learn everything we can because one day our opportunity will come to lead.