Holy Spirit, open my heart to those things in Scripture I need to apply to my life today.
Read NUMBERS 27:12-23
Joshua to Succeed Moses
12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites. 13 After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, 14 for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes.” (These were the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.)
15 Moses said to the Lord, 16 “May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community 17 to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
18 So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership,[a] and lay your hand on him. 19 Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. 20 Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. 21 He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the Lord. At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in.”
22 Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. 23 Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses.
- Numbers 27:18 Or the Spirit
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you need once again to ‘return to the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul’ (1 Peter 2:25)?
Like many leaders, Moses was able to see further than his capacity to lead, and his earlier mistakes limited his ability to take people where he would have loved to have gone (see August 10 notes). Accepting this, Moses focuses on succession planning. So many of us fail to look beyond our own tenure. Great leaders develop others to follow after them. Joshua, Moses’ successor, had been ‘Moses’ assistant since youth’ (Numbers 11:28). He is ‘a man in whom is the spirit’ (v 18). This could mean that the Spirit of God is evident in him, or that he is a ‘spiritual man,’ or that he has ‘the spirit of leadership,’ as some translations put it. So Joshua’s ‘ordination’ is an affirmation of what is already evident.
Moses has been anxious that the people would be left ‘like sheep without a shepherd’ (v 17). This phrase is deliberately echoed in the Gospels (Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34). Jesus recognized the plight of the people of his day and stepped up to provide what they needed. I wonder whether the gospel writers were wanting to convey that this ‘Yeshua’ is the one who can lead us out of the wilderness in a way that Moses (often equated with the Law) never could.
You may not think of yourself as a leader, but we all have the opportunity to invest in others who will come after us. Is God calling you to be more intentional in developing someone else?
Lord God, thank you for the many ways your Word instructs me. Help me to not to leave any part of my life untouched by them.
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