Now that Joshua has passed away, the leadership of the nation of Israel hangs in the balance. Joshua and Caleb were the last of the leaders who traveled the 40 years across the wilderness with the people. However, Caleb was on the scene briefly administering the affairs of the land but did not replace Joshua.
When we come to the book of Judges, we have a different type of leader. These are people God selected to oversee the affairs of the people and not only be a wartime leaders. There were many judges. One of them was a woman. They took their positions in succession as God decided. At times these judges functioned as generals and fighting those tribes that the Israelites allowed to remain in the land.
This first chapter teaches us that success has responsibilities.
If we are to be successful in this life and in our Christian experience that success must be maintained. We cannot just say we have become king of the mountain. Instead, being king of the mountain has even greater responsibilities. Failure is a simple thing. We really do not have to do anything other than accept our failure and live with. Success, on the other hand, requires that we step forward to oversee whatever it is that we have gained success over.
If we have gained success for promotion on the job, that promotion requires more of us. If we have gained success in finding a marital mate, that marriage must be nurtured. If at one time we bring a child into the world, it is one of the greatest responsibilities that we could gain. If we are going to serve Christ, our spiritual life takes on a new venture.
When we succeed, we are the only ones to follow through on that success. By taking a step up or forward, we are likewise stepping onto an individual platform the becomes our own and no one else’s to make sure success is realized, not just today, but all the future. When we succeed, that is the beginning point. It is the starting line of a new race to run in life.
Chapter 1 tells us about those tribes that realized some version of success and other tribes that did not. We cannot expect success to be our own just because others have succeeded. It is an individual experience. It is that which we must massage and nurture to realize tomorrow. We may succeed today, but that does not mean we will succeed tomorrow, unless at each moment we have the wherewithal to go forward toward our goals and offer our sacrifices in life.
Should we enjoy success for today we may not enjoy its fruit tomorrow. In fact, the tables will turn on us if we do not nurture success. It is earned by the minute and by the hour. It is that which we must guard and protect against any and all potential enemies that will rob us of our joy. We can easily become vulnerable to our self-congratulations. We can be proud that we have gained a certain level. However, that pride contains a downfall because as we drink from it, we can become drunk with what we tell ourselves.
God wants us to succeed in life. But any success that we have is ultimately of him and his blessings. Whatever good things we have in life are from him. Whatever we enjoy is because of his mercy. When he blesses us with success, it is not for us to remain on that island and turn inward to what is there. It is to protect that island from any and all enemies to honor him. Success means that we are more likely to be brought down. Success is a privilege well-earned.