Numbers 27 One day a petition was presented by the daughters of Zelophehad—Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Their father, Zelophehad, was a descendant of Hepher son of Gilead, son of Makir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph... “Our father died in the wilderness,” they said. “He was not among Korah’s followers, who rebelled against the Lord; he died because of his own sin. But he had no sons. Why should the name of our father disappear from his clan just because he had no sons? Give us property along with the rest of our relatives.” So Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord replied to Moses, “The claim of the daughters of Zelophehad is legitimate. You must give them a grant of land along with their father’s relatives. Assign them the property that would have been given to their father... One day the Lord said to Moses, “Climb one of the mountains east of the river, and look out over the land I have given the people of Israel. After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin. When the people of Israel rebelled, you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters.”... The Lord replied, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him. Present him to Eleazar the priest before the whole community, and publicly commission him to lead the people. Transfer some of your authority to him so the whole community of Israel will obey him.
This chapter seems to draw us to the end of another era and one wonders how God would continue to lead Israel without a leader?
Moses was one of the greatest old testament prophets and only Jesus was greater. No wonder the Jews hold him in such high esteem even today and rightfully so. His greatness was really God's glory because every good thing he did was impossible without God's leading.
To think that Moses, a murderer and shepherd would be able to inspire an entire nation to leave slavery, traverse the desert without food or water for 40 years, win battles against kings and principalities of wickedness and bring the millions to a nation of their own is ridiculous. His greatest achievements were beyond belief and made possible only because God led his every step.
The wisdom Moses exercised when faced with difficult questions like that of the daughters of Zelophehad-Mahlah was only from God and the resultant solution blessed the underprivileged and disjointed in the nation since then. God inspires greatness and provides everything needed not for the glory of those chosen but to bring His will to pass. It is not in us that greatness is born but in Him.
After all that Moses did for God, or so it seems, God directs him to his last moments and the last sight of God's glory on the mountain of Abarim. This seems a harsh end to Moses' life and ministry but God reminds Moses of his sins manifested in the striking of the rock for water at Meribah instead of speaking to the rock as God had instructed Aaron and him.
...the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!” Numbers 20:12 (NLT)
The consequence of our rebellion against God is dreadful to imagine or comprehend and only through the blood of Jesus do we not reap the ill rewards in eternity when we stand before God's judgment seat. To those of us who have known the forgiveness of Jesus, this is our reminder to constantly seek His forgiveness because even though we are a new creation, the carnal ways of our old lives are but a misstep away when we try to take control of our lives back from God.
Moses requests God for a new leader for the nation because he realized that without a God led leader, the nation would be lost and dispersed. Even today we struggle with misdirection when we do not have the leadership of one who is able and equipped to lead. Our great leaders fail us as do the governments and scientists but God has shown us the benefits of trusting in His leading and provided in Jesus Christ the best leader ever.
Joshua won God's favor when he reported the truth on his return from the trip to spy the lands God was about to bless Israel with and was quickly growing into a man of favor among the Israelites. God's choice of Joshua again shows us that He uses the weak to shame the strong and in God's hands we can be assured that He will lead us to His glory if is that is what we are set out to accomplish.
God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 1 Corinthians 1:27 (NLT)
There is no doubt that God was in perfect control then as He is even now but what we need is to be able to trust Him with our lives. Jesus came to bridge us back to God and is our leader like Moses but far better because in Him was found no sin and He laid down His life for us so that we may have life with Him forever.
In His Loving Service,
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