12-14 God said to Moses, “Climb up into the Abarim Mountains and look over at the land that I am giving to the People of Israel. When you’ve had a good look you’ll be joined to your ancestors in the grave—yes, you also along with Aaron your brother. This goes back to the day when the congregation quarreled in the Wilderness of Zin and you didn’t honor me in holy reverence before them in the matter of the waters, the Waters of Meribah (Quarreling) at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin.”
15-17 Moses responded to God: “Let God, the God of the spirits of everyone living, set a man over this community to lead them, to show the way ahead and bring them back home so God’s community will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
18-21 God said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun—the Spirit is in him!—and place your hand on him. Stand him before Eleazar the priest in front of the entire congregation and commission him with everyone watching. Pass your magisterial authority over to him so that the whole congregation of the People of Israel will listen obediently to him. He is to consult with Eleazar the priest who, using the oracle-Urim, will prayerfully advise him in the presence of God. He will command the People of Israel, the entire community, in all their comings and goings.”
22-23 Moses followed God’s orders. He took Joshua and stood him before Eleazar the priest in front of the entire community. He laid his hands on him and commissioned him, following the procedures God had given Moses.
Moses was a great leader. Anyone who can lead around 2 million Jews through the desert is doing an exceptional job. However, he did make mistakes which cost him the trip to the Promised Land. After being told that he won’t cross over to Canaan, the old man worried about Israel more than himself. Instead of complaining or arguing his case to God, he sought His help to find a replacement because he believed that the next generation needs guidance. The news of his exclusion has got to be painful. Yet, here he is lobbying for a new shepherd for the Israelites. His capacity to handle pain is such that he is still able to make rational decisions for the good of everyone. But wait, there’s more!
Not only did he seek to find another leader for the people, he also obeyed God’s instructions and anointed Joshua, son of Nun, to take his place. Now, a lot of us already struggle at obeying the Lord even when things are okay. But the meekest person to ever walk on the earth conquered his emotions to show us that we can submit to the Father even in the midst of pain and do what is required of us. It takes maturity to exhibit grace under such pressure. Moses not only nailed it but also set the bar for us to follow.
Whatever kind of pain you are experiencing today, know that there are things you still have to accomplish. There are items on our to-do list that cannot wait for our grief, sadness, or whatever feeling it is that normally surfaces whenever we are pained. Pain is not an excuse to be disobedient to God but an opportunity to grow our character to be more like Christ’s. Jesus endured all kinds of pain when He went through the cross. In the long run, the hurt didn’t hurt as much compared to what would happen if He did not obey the Father.