Numbers 27

Numbers 27 begins with Moses addressing a sticky subject – a family with no brothers and no line of heritage for their family to retain their land.  Five sisters came and stood before Moses and Eleazor and asked “why should the name of our father be taken away from his clan because he had no son”?  Seems like a pretty logical request, but it is the first time that Moses has had this exact situation placed before him.  So what does he do?  “Moses brought their case before the Lord”.  That is the wisdom of leadership.  He doesn’t take a guess at what God would have him do – he seeks God’s direction.

And not surprisingly, when God is asked, He has an answer.  The problem is that far too often we never even ask.  “You shall give them possession of an inheritance among their father’s brothers and transfer the inheritance of their father to them”.  That might not have been the answer the leaders of Israel would have come down to on their own.  After all, women during this time in history didn’t necessarily have equal standing.  But it was God’s plan and Moses carries it out as God commanded.

Then we move to the transition of leadership as God tells Moses his time of leading the people is over.  They are on the cusp of entering the Promised Land.  God tells Moses to go up on the hill and look.  “When you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, because you rebelled against my word in the wilderness….failing to uphold me as holy at the waters before their eyes”.  Moses isn’t getting a break regarding his sin.  There is always a price to pay for disobedience to God.  And for Moses, it is a stiff one.  He won’t be allowed to take his people across the finish line.

Moses asks for someone to take over leadership of God’s people.  And again, God has a plan.  “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him….you shall commission him in their sight.  You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the people of Israel may obey”.  This is truly passing the torch from an amazing leader to the man who has stood beside him and served him well for many years.  Moses doesn’t argue for his own selection.  He doesn’t challenge God’s plan for how to transfer the authority – “Moses did as the Lord commanded him”.  Obedience is the true mark of a great leader – when God is truly in control of the leader’s life – there will be nothing but success as an outcome.

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