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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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.