Reading: Numbers 26:1-4, 63-65; 27:15-23; 32
Summary: Wandering Officially Ends
Previously at Mt. Sinai God had Moses conduct a census of the people. It counted males 20 years old and over of all the tribes (except Levi). Now after the plague at Peor, God instructs a second census to be taken. This census confirmed that all of the unfaithful generation who had sinned at Kadesh had indeed died in the wilderness. The punishment was complete.
Several events begin to play out that look toward the entrance into the Promised Land. These include the selection of Joshua as Moses’ successor and a special request from two of the tribes.
That’s a nifty little trick, isn’t it? It isn’t living longer than you could or should, but making sure your influence and that to which you have dedicated yourself outlives you.
So how does that work?
Two ways: First, by dedicating yourself to something bigger than you. If your life is all about getting what you want, satisfying self, and aligning all of life’s circumstance to your liking then you’ve set your sights way too low. As a matter of fact, a more unworthy pursuit of life would be hard to find.
Here’s the best advice I can offer–and it’s not even mine: “But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness” (Matt. 6:33; NET). No bigger, better, or higher pursuit could be found for anyone’s life.
Second, help someone else along that same path. Some people call it mentoring. Call it what you will, it’s about doing what you can to make sure there is at least one person who will continue pursuing the purpose and goal of your life. And so, you outlive yourself.
Moses’ concern, knowing that his time was limited, was that the Lord’s people “not be as sheep that have no shepherd” (Num. 27:17). The needs of the Lord’s people would outlive him.
God’s answer was Joshua. He would immediately be designated as a leader like Moses. He would receive the Lord’s commands and would himself lead them out and bring them in.
This principle is not only applicable to designated, recognized, “out-front” leaders. In what capacities do you specifically serve God as you pursue his kingdom and righteousness? Bible class teacher, parent, friend, ministry leader, business man or woman, community volunteer, a specific professional career?
That list is virtually endless, but it’s important to identify what you are doing. And then, ask, “Who is my Joshua?” If you don’t have one, find one.