This is one of the most poignant stories in the old testament. It is a picture of God and Moses ending their journey across the desert together. Clearly, God was not surprised, but neither was Moses. Moses knew this would be the end and even at the point of his death, He behaved like a true and Godly leader.
Moses did not beg for a second chance, nor did he make an excuse or try to shift blame. Moses’ only response was for God to give the people a great leader. God did not have to ponder the choice. He had been preparing the replacement for 40 years–Joshua. God gave Moses specific instruction about the passing of authority to Joshua. Amazingly, as would become the motto of Israel under Joshua, “Moses did as the Lord commanded him.” Moses passed the leadership to Joshua that very day.
It would be an amazing thing for the Lord to speak as openly to us as he had his friend, Moses. In the history of Israel, there is no relationship more open and more friendlike than the relationship between God and Moses. Joshua watched his mentor for 4 decades as Moses and God wrangled about the stiff necked Israelites. Joshua, like Moses, knew the passionate love God had for these chosen ones. He also knew the critical nature of God’s strict regimen for their preparation to take the land. He would now take the mantle of leadership and complete what God promised Abraham.
We are blessed, through the Holy Spirit to have a direct relationship with God like Moses and Joshua did. We seek Him personally, and our prayers are made to God directly. The Lord takes us where we are, and moves us to be like Him. We simply are asked to trust and follow the Lord’s lead as did Moses and Joshua.
God Bless You
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites. 13 After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, 14 for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes.” (These were the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.)
15 Moses said to the Lord, 16 “May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community 17 to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
18 So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership,[a] and lay your hand on him. 19 Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. 20 Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. 21 He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the Lord. At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in.”
22 Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. 23 Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses.