“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;'” – Numbers 27:12-13 [NASB].
The Consequences of Disobedience
The Lord instructed Moses to go up on the mountain to view the Promised Land. His disobedience at the waters of Meribah in the wilderness of Zin will disallow his entrance into Canaan with Israel.
As he looked across the land God promised to Israel, he must have been tempted to muse on thoughts of the past. He may have remembered the grumbling of God’s people and how he had to plead with the Lord not to destroy them. He could have reminisced on how Aaron and Miriam resisted his leadership and God’s authority and how he had forgiven them and prayed for their restoration.
So many times, he had put others first to the detriment of himself, yet now, he was not permitted to cross the Jordan with them. How would you and I have responded to God’s discipline? Probably not like Moses did.
The Servant Leader
“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.'”
– Numbers 27:15-17 [NASB]
Amid what should have been the disappointment of being excluded from the triumphal entry, we see Moses still focused on God’s purposes and the good of his people. He actively sought to fulfill the promise, even though it would not be consummated through him but his understudy, Joshua. It was not about him but God’s designs and plans.
As Moses gazed out over this good land from that mountaintop, he may have seen Joshua doing great exploits for God in the eye of faith. Based on his response in verses 16 and 17, Moses must have said in his heart, thank you, Lord, because it is not about me, but You. Such is the expression that must reverberate in the hearts of all servant leaders.