Deuteronomy 1 has Moses and the people poised to enter the Promised Land. Moses is preparing them, by sharing some of what is to come but primarily by reviewing their history. “’You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negeb and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates”.
This is a pretty big move. God has had them on a journey of over 40 years and now we are at the conclusion of that. “Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your fathers”. God has been faithful, not only to lead them on their journey, but also to prepare the place He has for them, the Promised Land. Along the way “The Lord your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as numerous as the stars of heaven”. God has used this time to grow His people even more. And now, they are ready to move in.
Moses has set up a system to lead the people. He followed God’s direction when he was told to “Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads”. Moses had been the guy, along with his brother Aaron for so many years, but the load was overwhelming. “So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and set them as heads over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens, and officers, throughout your tribes”. He broke things down into manageable groups where people could receive the care and attention they needed.
He also set up judges to help decide issues between people. But he didn’t just dump the responsibility on them and run. He said if “the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it”. Moses was there to help lead well. But now it is near the time to make the handoff. “Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it”. Moses isn’t making the trip. His disobedience of God’s command when he struck the rock rather than speaking to it has caused him to be disqualified from entry. But he has led well. And now Joshua will take the lead to bring the people home.