Numbers 27:12-23 (Part 1) – Passion for Purpose, Passion for People: What Makes a Great Leader!

Posted: October 23, 2016 in 04-Numbers

Numbers 27:12-23 (Part 1)

Joshua Chosen to Lead Israel

Who says that Bible is not practical and the Old Testament, in particular, is meaningless to us today? Yesterday, we talked about how the Bible demonstrates, even in the Old Testament, how God highly values women. Today, as we are moving the history of the Jewish people, we see that God has practical advice on leadership as well. What? The Bible teaches us about leadership? C’mon, you say, the Bible is just a collection of nice stories but a leadership manual? C’mon. That’s what those who have not come to an intimate relationship with Christ might think when thinking about (but not having actually read) the Bible. However, it is the guide book of our lives. The history of God’s people through Israel, through Jesus Christ and through His church teaches us about every aspect of life. It is reliable, trustworthy and true – even when it comes to practical things such as leadership.


What makes a great leader? Think about it! Because it is important. We are pondering that question as a nation right now? Many of us Christians are profoundly saddened by the only realistic choices that we have in this election. I had pondered “protest voting” by voting for a third party candidate such Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party’s candidate. However, for all the ideals of Mr. Castle that I agree with, he has a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected. Therefore, the leadership of our nation is down to two people, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The question is, because of the lax morality of our nation as we have progressed, these are the candidates we have chosen. The question then lies in answer to the question as to which is going to be the better leader of the two. You notice that I say not who is the best leader. This is a question of which one will be the less worse. The question to me is not so much who is the better of the two candidates but who is it that they will appoint to keep positions in their administration and who they will appoint to the Supreme Court. And how do those appointments of personnel in their respective administrations and their potential judicial appointments align with biblical values. It is these appointments that reflect the character of our nation’s executive branch for the next 4 to 8 years and our nation’s judiciary for the next generation. Which candidate for President is going to select his next level leaders that are good at what they do or are they going to select people that are simply yes men or yes women for the President. Which candidate is most likely to appoint someone who meets the definition of the job they have to do? Would you rather trust a businessman or a career politician with those choices? Would you rather trust a person running a large business who because of the size of his organization has to find the best person for the job or a career politician who has never had to operate a business of any kind but yet wants to run one of the largest organziations in the world – the executive branch of our government. Do you want new ideas, new people or the same old appointments of other career politicians.


It is biblical to find the best and the brightest to run your organization. Moses had seen Joshua rise up through the ranks of the organization of the Jewish nation. He had served at Moses’ side for many years. Joshua had been observing and learning all this time. He was the best and the brightest. He had what it took to take over after Moses. Joshua was not only passionate about what the task was but he also was a people oriented person as well. Let’s read about the passing of the baton to Joshua in this passage, Numbers 27:12-23:


12 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.


Moses asked God to appoint a leader who was capable of directing both the internal and external affairs of the Israelite nation. Moses  wanted God to appoint a man could lead them into battle but who would also care deeply for their needs. The Lord responded by appointing Joshua. Many people want to be leaders. Some are very capable of reaching their goals while others care deeply for the people in their charge. The best leaders are goal oriented and people oriented.


For this election that we face, who is the best or at least the less worse candidate in regard to these principles. For all the negativity toward Trump in this election, we must remember too that he did not HAVE to run for President. In fact, I bet at times, he wishes that he had not at this point. However, the fact that he has stepped out of the business world and into the presidential race indicates to me that he deeply cares about the issues that face our nation. He could have stood on the sidelines like other business leaders but no. He jumped in with both feet and with mostly his own money. That’s pretty passionate to me. In his own twisted, egotistical way, I do think he cares about America. I do think that he will appoint the best and the brightest people that come from a different world, the business world, rather than from the career politicians that I suspect Ms. Clinton will appoint. Which candidate do you think has the best goals? Trump is pushing for bold policies and has some significant goals as President. With Clinton, this just seems as her ideas are to bash his ideas and is putting for nothing new and original and nothing that incentivizing America to take it to the next level.


Moses chose Joshua because he was the right man and the right hour with the right skills and with the right passion and the right sense of urgency about the goals of the nation. Do you want someone who is the next crony in line for the job or do you want someone who throws their hat in the ring not because they think they are next in line but rather is passionate about the future and how to get there. Those were the questions before God and Moses in choosing Joshua. These are the questions that are before us between Donald and Hillary. Choose wisely!


Amen and Amen.

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