Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 22, 2014

God puts the success in successors.

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers 27:12-23. 

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up to this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the sons of Israel.  When you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was;  for in the wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to treat Me as holy before their eyes at the water.”  (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.) 

Then Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, “May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of the Lord will not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”  So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him;  and have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and commission him in their sight.  You shall put some of your authority on him, in order that all the congregation of the sons of Israel may obey him.  Moreover, he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the Lord.  At his command they shall go out and at his command they shall come in, both he and the sons of Israel with him, even all the congregation.”  Moses did just as the Lord commanded him;  and he took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation.  Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses.”   Numbers 27:12-23. 


When the LORD informed Moses of his upcoming death and that he would see (but not go in) the Promised Land, Moses could have asked for something for himself or could have sulked in silence, but Moses only asked for the LORD to appoint a successor to shepherd Israel. 

We certainly should fulfill our ministry. 

“Say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”  Colossians 4:17. 

“To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power,”  2 Thessalonians 1:11. 

“But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:5. 

But, there comes a time when we need to leave the ministry, because we die or retire or move on to a different ministry such as is the situation described in today’s Scripture.  When that occurs, we can trust God to appoint successors, and we can trust God to orchestrate everything to cause success. 

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.  This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’  The Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well.  I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.”  Deuteronomy 18:15-18. 

Reformed Doctrine, which teaches God’s sovereignty and the total perfect triumph of God, helps us to rest in peace.  

“Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other;  I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure‘;  Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country.  Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.”  Isaiah 46:9-11.


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