Tuesday, March 6

Moses and Joshua

Scripture: Deuteronomy 3-4, Psalm 36, Mark 13

Deuteronomy 3:28 But commission Joshua and encourage and strengthen him, for he will cross over ahead of the people and enable them to inherit this land that you will see.


Deuteronomy 3 describes the transfer of leadership from Moses to Joshua.  It begins with Moses reminding Joshua of what God had done to their enemies (Kings Sihon and Og), assuring him that God would do the same to all the kings in the land they were entering, and encouraging Joshua not to be afraid, for God was going with him and would fight for him.

Then Moses begs God to let him see the Promised Land.  “Please, let me cross over and see the beautiful land.”

The Lord responded, “That’s enough.  Go to the top of the mountain and see it from there, but you’re not crossing over.”  Then verse 28: commission, encourage and strengthen Joshua, because he will take the people into the Promised Land.


First, it seems like Moses is getting a raw deal.  After all he has done, he is kept out of the Promised Land for one failure.  But it was a big one.  He not only disobeyed God, he put himself in God’s place.  “Must we (Moses and Aaron) bring water out of this rock for you?”  Moses couldn’t bring water out of a rock—only God can do that.  Moses elevated himself and dishonored God.

I find myself doing this—thinking that I can fix something when really only God can fix it, or taking credit for something that God did.  I want to make sure that I always have a realistic view of God (He’s huge) and me (I’m not).  That should be reflected in my language and actions.

Second, every leader reaches a point where his/her most important contribution is preparing the next generation to lead.  At this point in Moses’ life, the most important thing he could do was to commission, encourage and strengthen Joshua.

I’m at that point in my life.  I’m not done leading—I still have gas in the tank and plenty of tread on my tires!  But I’m also aware that my best contribution is preparing the next generation to lead our church into the future.  So I need to organize my schedule so that I’m investing in, training, strengthening and encouraging young leaders.

Prayer: First help me to have a big view of God and let that be reflected in my speech and actions.  Second, help me to use every opportunity to prepare the next generation of leaders.