Our breakfast reading today was in Deuteronomy 31 where Moses tells the people that Joshua would be their leader, under the Lord, as they went into the land to possess it.
Several thoughts came from this passage: It was the Lord’s doing and time; it may have come early because of Moses’s actions at the rock; they were still to understand that dependence on the Lord was necessary.
It was the Lord’s doing and time. Moses was 120, and Joshua in his mid-70s. There was nothing about a prescribed age. It was because the Lord had said it was to be. Moses told the people he was no longer able, but the chronicle tells us that it was because the Lord had directed. Moses would have loved to enter the land, but was not permitted. It is possible that Joshua would have preferred to have Moses there for counsel; but it was not to be. The time had come.
We were struck again with the emphasis on “be strong and courageous … It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Of course, this thought is repeated for us in other places as well.
It is good to remember that Joshua had a long period of training; at least 40 years as the “servant of Moses.”
As each of us seeks to serve the Lord in our God-appointed sphere, may we understand that there will a come a time of “handing over” of our service to another.