After presenting the song we studied in Deuteronomy 32, Moses went on to give the people and Joshua a message of encouragement and hope. This set the stage for Moses’ final experiences before his death.
God allowed him to see the Promised Land, but he couldn’t enter it because of his failure to honor and glorify the Lord at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin. Moses took time in his final days to pronounce a blessing on the tribes of Israel. A favorite verse of mine is found in chapter 33:27: “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Moses passed the baton of leadership to Joshua by declaring: “Be strong and courageous...The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Joshua had seen Moses’ struggle while leading the nation during 40 years of wilderness wanderings. He could have been discouraged before starting to take over the reigns of leadership. The Lord will go with you, Moses said, so don’t be afraid.
When Moses died it says in Deuteronomy 34:9, “Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him.” The secret of leadership and passing on leadership is this: the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It was so back then, and it is still true today. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to enlighten, energize and empower us, if we want to be effective servant leaders as Moses and Joshua were.
May God raise up many who will follow in their footsteps.