Today’s Scripture Focus: Numbers 27:12-23
In today’s scripture focus, Israel is camped at the edge of a mountain range in Moab. Remember that the book of Numbers gets its name because of the two census that were taken of the people. The second one has just been conducted in Numbers 26, this one numbering the generation born in the wilderness. Those who came out of slavery in Egypt have died—God had commanded that they would not enter the Promised Land due to their constant complaining. Aaron the high priest, Moses’ brother, has died. Miriam, Moses’ sister, has died. Moses alone was left to lead the people, and he was nearing the end of his life as well.
In Numbers 27, God called Moses up on a mountain (later identified as Mount Nebo) to allow him to see over in Canaan. Moses was not going to live to lead the new generation of Israelites into this Promised Land. Why? In Numbers 20, the people had complained about a lack of water. As God had done in Exodus 15, God was once again going to provide water for the people through Moses, this time by having Moses speak to a rock and having water flow from it. However, instead of speaking to the rock, Moses spoke to the people and hit the rock with his staff. Instead of bringing glory to God, Moses took credit for this miracle himself.
Moses had gotten the people to the edge of Canaan successfully. We was nearly 120 years old! His job was nearing completion. Although he would not enter the Promised Land, God did bring him up on the mountain to see it. Moses had many times begged God to do something different or change God’s plan on behalf of Israel, but notice that Moses never once asked God to allow him to go into the Promised Land. Instead, his concern is for the people—who would lead them now? Moses knew that going into Canaan would mean facing war, and there was no way the people would be able to work together without someone leading them.
God chose Moses’ assistant Joshua to become his successor. Joshua had actually been to the Promised Land once already. He had been one of the twelve spies that had scoped out the territory years before. Remember that ten of those spies spread fear among the people, but Joshua and Caleb trusted God. God remembered. God told Moses that Joshua had “the spirit”. He had the right attitude for leadership. However, he would still need God’s spirit. God had Moses put his hand on Joshua and impart “some” of his spirit. Joshua wouldn’t lead in the same way Moses led, but he was the right person for this time and task. God has chosen us for a time and task today. Do you have the “spirit” for it?
- Go around the table and share prayer requests. Have someone lead in prayer.
- Let everyone who would like to share anything exciting from their week.
- Ask these three questions. Let as many answer each one as they would like.
Why wasn’t Moses allowed to go into the Promised Land?
What is the difference between our “spirit” (with a small “s”) and God’s Spirit (with a capital “S”). Do we need both?
God has called each of us to fulfill a role in the Kingdom. Pray that you have the right “spirit” (attitude) to do what only you can do, as well as God’s Holy Spirit within you to do what you cannot do.