Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, August 13, 2015
“And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying, Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation. And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.” (Numbers 27:15–23).
As we have seen in the Scripture, the time had come for the Lord to set up a new leader over Israel. Moses and Aaron, though loved by God and especially chosen to do an incredible work for Him, they failed to uphold God’s holiness before the people by strict obedience to His authority at Meribah. Moses struck the rock in anger to bring water to the people, when God expressly told him to speak to it. This rock represented Christ who would be smitten once for our sins, and needed not to be again. Moses made it seem as though he singlehandedly led God’s people through the wilderness toward the promise. Thus the Lord commanded that Joshua be sanctified to take the helm of leadership, to carry the people to their inheritance. The Lord was with Joshua, just as He was with Moses.
As they say in the world of employment, everyone is replaceable. From the most talented executives with specialized training and experience, to the last person hired to carry on mundane operations, everyone is replaceable. This is even truer in God’s economy. When He sets us up with holy responsibilities, and put His Spirit within us, He expects greater fidelity. He has given much (His power and presence); therefore, He requires much (absolute obedience). God demonstrated in this story, that He already knew what Moses and Aaron would do many years down the road. You will recall that Joshua was the only person who would ascend to the top of Mt. Horeb with Moses as He communed with God in the cloud. Joshua was ever Moses’ special minister who also gave a faith-filled report concerning God’s power to vanquish the giants in enemy territory.
We must ever remember that God loves us, and takes the stewardship with which He entrusts us seriously. We can either be thankful and discharge our duties with grace no matter the trials and frustration, or we can be replaced by someone who is willing to follow the Lord wherever He leads. It is our choice. Moses and Aaron made theirs, and unfortunately, they had to die before they experienced the Promised Land. God would use faithful Joshua to bring His plan to fruition.
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, please give us the fortitude to fulfill our roles in your work, no matter what. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.