As I continue my goal to read the Old Testament before the end of the year, I come to the Book of Joshua. I noticed that first verse in King James Version calls Joshua, “Moses’ minister.” Because of the modern connotations of word minister, I believe the word can be misleading. Other Bible translations use the word “attendant,” “helper,” or “assistant.” And in Exodus 33:11, we read that “Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.” We can infer from these two verses that Joshua spent a lot of time with Moses and at the temple. He probably thoroughly understood the laws and ordinances of the tabernacle and knew, better than one else, how Moses thought and acted. It reminded me of when King Benjamin explained to his people:
For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?
Maybe it was from Moses’ example that Joshua learned how to be “strong and of a good courage […because by neither turning] to the right hand or to the left” (Joshua 1:7) he could maintain the presence of God with him and knew that, by so doing, the Lord would never forsake him (Joshua 1:5).
Perhaps, it was from Moses’ that he learned the value of keeping of the Law of God on his lips and meditating “therein day and night” (Joshua 1:8). We see that, from proper preparation, Joshua was able to successfully bring the Children of Israel into the promised land. I believe there is a life lesson found in this, and other examples in the Holy Scriptures.
The Bible recounts that Abraham and Issac, as they went toward Mount Moriah to sacrifice, “they went both of them together” (Genesis 22:8). The famous Jewish Torah commentator, Rashi, states that the Hebrew means they were “with the same ready heart” (Rashi on Genesis 22:8:2). More specifically, as commentary by Radak says, “they were of one mind and of one spirit” (Radak on Genesis 22:8:2). After working with, and learning with, his father, Abraham, Issac probably thought and acted a lot like his father. Like people say: “like father, like son” or, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
This statement shows that Jesus felt confident enough that he knew how Heavenly Father would act. Jesus felt so familiar with the Father he, later, said to his disciples that if they have seen him, they have seen the Father, because the Father dwells and works in him (John 14:7-11).
What kind of person do you want to be? The key is to find people that are like the person you want to be and spend time with them—they will rub off on you. (Beware: this is a double-edged sword. If you spend time with those who do not share the same standards as you do, they will rub off on you as well.) Now, there may not be a group of people that are similar to the person you want to be because the traits or skills you seek are rare. Plus, I do not believe it is enough to just have within our mind’s eye “the stature of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13); although, I certainly believe it is necessary for our spiritual understanding and growth. Nevertheless, you need a mentor! Somebody in the physical world. Someone who has experience and can guide you. I heard a quote that says that for someone to continue progressing they need someone above them to learn from, someone equal to them to challenge them, and someone below them to teach. [I am sorry, I do not have the exact quote. I heard it in an audiobook I listened to called, The Ego is the Enemy. When I find the quote, I will update this post.] In that light, there is bound to be a group of people who show interest in the same goals that you have. Remember: You will become like the people that surround sound you. You will become the thoughts that occupy your mind.