Daily D – Numbers 27:15-17
So Moses appealed to the LORD, “May the LORD, the God who gives breath to all, appoint a man over the community who will go out before them and come back in before them, and who will bring them out and bring them in, so that the LORD’s community won’t be like sheep without a shepherd.
NUMBERS 27:15-17 (CSB)
Numbers 12:3 tells us, “Moses was a very humble man, more so than anyone on the face of the earth.” This is quite a claim. There is plenty of evidence leading to this conclusion. Perhaps there is none better than what happens here.
Moses is about to die. Unlike us, he knows the place, the day, and the hour right down to the minute. He could have counted down his heartbeats and respirations if he had desired to do so. Instead, he focused on what was next. He did not focus on what was next for him. He would step fully into God’s immediate presence. Whatever veil remained between them would be taken away ultimately and finally.
No, when Moses focused on what was next, he focused on who would lead Israel along those final steps into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Abraham owned the sum total of one field and one cave where he buried Sarah and where Isaac and Ishmael buried him.
Isaac, the child of the promise, never stepped foot outside the land that was promised to him but which was not yet his own. Jacob left the land to go to his son, Joseph, in Egypt, the boy he thought he had lost forever. That boy was now second only to Pharaoh in power and authority. Then came a Pharaoh “who knew not Joseph” and forced Jacob’s descendants into slavery.
God used Moses to deliver them from slavery into the wilderness where he formed a nation out of a multitude who only knew how to follow the orders of those who subjected them to increasingly difficult labor.
Forty years later, it was time to take their best next step, their last big step into the land promised to them so long ago. The most humble man who ever lived did not on this occasion desire a presidential library. He did not seek a statue in his honor. He wanted a leader who would lead them like a shepherd leads his sheep.
In Deuteronomy 3:26, we see God’s direct answer to Moses’ request:
Joshua’s commission service is recorded in Numbers 27:18-23.
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.
Moses knew this. Moses knew it was not all about him. Moses had been focused on what was next for forty years. Now in his last moments, he was focused on who was next.
Leaders who are truly successful focus on building up successors and preparing for their success.
How are you preparing those who come behind you?
How are you preparing the way for them to succeed beyond anything you were able to accomplish?
I will set up my successor for success.
Our Father, the position I hold is not mine. I am a steward in this place at this time. Someone will step into this role next. I want that leader to be more successful than I ever dreamed possible for myself. Show me how to prepare others for this role. Show me how to prepare the way for my successor to work without hindrance from me or the way I do things. Let me know when it is time to go. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.