Previously, we saw that Moses prayed for his replacement. His desire was for one who would serve as a shepherd to the people–one “who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in.” No sooner did he finish praying this prayer than did God answer him with the man who would be his replacement…
“So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; and have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and commission him in their sight.”
Joshua is chosen, he is elevated in the sight of the people, and he is commissioned to serve as the new shepherd to God’s people. The next generation will need another shepherd to care for them as they fulfill their mission on earth, and Joshua, whose name means, God is help, is elevated at just the right time. His job description? Shepherd.
What is a shepherd?
A shepherd is one who tends sheep. But, in this context above, Moses is speaking analogously to paint the picture of how Joshua will lead the people.
- He will go out and and come in–before them…
- He will lead them out and bring them in…
Joshua’s leadership mission is intimately wrapped up in his being with the people. But, it’s more than that. There is an additional element of leadership, which is surrounding the people–going before and behind them–that he will also fulfill. Thus, his mission–as we see in the book of Joshua–is to lead the people into the land promised to them; and they will need a leader whose presence is not only among them, but all around them. That reality is critical. Whereas Moses engaged in a skirmish here and there, Joshua will face numerous armies, fight many battles, and lead a military campaign–the likes of which Israel has never seen. Joshua is a warrior-leader, but his life expires just as Moses’ life expired. Therefore, while his life was important in the history of Israel, its greater importance is that it points to a day when the true Warrior-Leader–who was not bound to the grave–will return, surround His people, and usher them into a land promised to them…A New Heavens and a New Earth.
How Does This Apply To Us Today?
- Is it possible to feel defeated? In life, or ministry, or work, or at home, or as a parent, or with your friends?
- Therefore, is it possible to think that your life doesn’t have purpose or that you’re having a hard time finding hope in the midst of defeat, which leads to doubt or discouragement or despair?
If that’s you, then you’re just where you need to be. You are defeated, and that’s ok. You were never meant to be a victor. The reality and fact is, you can’t.
What were you meant to be, then?
Faithful. Full of faith. One who trusts. One who abides in the face of despair, depression, discouragement, and doubt.
Faith in the only One–Jesus Christ–who could conquer the arch-enemy. He is One who surrounds you with love, hope, and promise. You’re called to live a life of daily transferring trust from yourself to Him.
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
He has conquered everything…“therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Stay faith-filled…in the One who has fought your battles, conquered your wars, and surrounds you with His love.
And never forget…faith in Him means that you are a child of the King!— January 26, 2018