Leading or Letting Go

S (Scripture): Deuteronomy 34:1 Then Moses ascended from the deserts of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the summit of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. The Lord showed him the whole land – Gilead to Dan, 2 and all of Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the distant sea, 3 the Negev, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of the date palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it, but you will not cross over there.”

5 So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab as the Lord had said. 6 He buried him in the land of Moab near Beth Peor, but no one knows his exact burial place to this very day. 7 Moses was 120 years old when he died, but his eye was not dull nor had his vitality departed. 8 The Israelites mourned for Moses in the deserts of Moab for thirty days; then the days of mourning for Moses ended.

O (Observation):  Was it even Moses’ fault that the people of Israel sinned?  Why not let Moses in?  He did some really powerful stuff as God’s servant!  And he was humble and obedient, right?  How unfair!

Well…I don’t know if advocating for Moses is the right course of action.  Perhaps just knowing that Moses didn’t get in is enough.   Maybe the Lord saw fit to pass the baton to Joshua at this stage.  Maybe new energy was needed for God’s people at that time. 

Standing on that mountain, Moses is reminded of the covenant that God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The covenant still stands, just not with Moses at the helm when it comes to fruition.  

A (Application): Leaders must discern when one project ends and another begins.  Sometimes we juggle multiple projects… sometimes one is enough to fill our whole plate.   

Sometimes we are angry because we have to wait on the mountaintop, knowing we won’t enter the “promised land.”  Other times, we are the ones leading the charge, thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of those who came before us.  

Sometimes we are Moses.  Sometimes we are Joshua.  I’ve been both, and each presents its own joys and challenges.  Many factors are at play, but one thing is constant:  our God is faithful to God’s people.   This journey is not about the leaders, but what God is up to in us, and around us. 

When have you been like Moses, leading the charge, but then passing the baton?  Was it painful?  Easy?

When have you been like Joshua, receiving the baton?  Were you scared? Did you doubt yourself?

In either case, God’s got your back…

P (Prayer): Lord, you challenge us, but only after first promising to be with us in this life to sustain us with daily bread.   Keep us fed and nourished, so we can respond to your will in leading or in letting go.  Amen. 


2 thoughts on “Leading or Letting Go

  1. Moses dynamically liberated and led / transported the flock. Joshua re-focused it back into a static database, if you’ll forgive the technical reference 🙂 The gravitational, light-bending lenses of God are either diverging or converging.


    • I like this understanding a little better:

      From orientation, to disorientation, to new orientation.

      Or, from life, to death, to resurrection. (Death is either literal or symbolic.)


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