Daily D – 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 3:28 (CSB)
We recently considered Moses’ prayer in Numbers 27:15-17 for a leader to shepherd Israel after he himself had died. We noted then,
The best leaders understand their best legacy is displayed in the success of their successors. If everything falls apart after The Leader leaves, The Leader was not The Leader he or she should have been. If everything rises and falls on The Leader, failure is inevitable.
We saw the commissioning of Joshua in Numbers 27:1-23. Moses “laid his hands on him, and commissioned him, as the LORD had spoken through Moses,” (verse 23).
Here in Deuteronomy 3:28, God tells Moses to do three things for Joshua:
1. Commission him
2. Encourage him
3. Strengthen him
The commissioning was a formal transfer of authority. It was an event for everyone to see and to know that Joshua was now the leader of the mob who was becoming a nation.
As you read the rest of Deuteronomy, Moses’ famous last words, see if you can count how many times Moses says, “Be strong and courageous.” Why does he repeat this particular command so often? To encourage and strengthen Joshua. Just in case Joshua wavered after the death of Moses, God repeats these same words in Joshua 1. The culmination comes in verse 10:
Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
There are a couple of additional succession planning dance steps we see in God’s directive to Moses (and to us):
- When it comes time to step aside, step aside. Before you exit, transfer authority for all to see. When you are gone, stay gone.
- When it comes time to step aside, make sure every word you speak and every action you take encourages and strengthens your successor.
I will, as far as it depends on me, make my successor successful.
Our Father, teach me now how to handle succession issues for the day when they inevitably come. Give me wisdom for how to commission my successor. Empower me to provide encouragement and strength. Bless me with the grace to step out of the way and to stay out of the way. Amen.
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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”