Read Numbers 27:15-23. Write down the events of Joshua’s commissioning.
A great leader is one that cares about his flock and does not seek self-glorification. Moses exemplifies a great leader in this passage. Rather than wallow in self-pity because he was kept from entering into the land, his concern was for the people of Israel. He wanted them to have a righteous leader—a leader who would lead them the way he had done. He did not want the flock of God wandering aimlessly without a shepherd. So he boldly and humbly asked God to raise up a successor.
And Joshua was chosen!
From what you’ve studied so far, why do you think Joshua was a good candidate to lead the people?
I imagine that Moses was thrilled with God’s selection. He knew Joshua since he was young. He had watched him grow spiritually, intellectually, and physically. He observed the heart of a servant and the soul of a warrior. Joshua’s love for God was unsurpassed and his faith unmeasured. There’s nothing like witnessing someone you mentored become a great asset for the kingdom of God. Perhaps Moses said to God, “Good choice!”
And then Joshua was commissioned!
The Hebrew word for commission means “to command, order, instruct, and give instruction.” The dictionary defines commission this way: “the act of committing or entrusting a person with supervisory power or authority.”ˡ
I’ve witnessed many people commissioned for God’s work, especially pastors and missionaries. The church calls them up before the congregation, and while the elders lay their hands on them, the leaders pray over them. Witnessing this always moves my heart. Basically, the church is following biblical protocol. They are in essence giving their blessing and imparting authority to go and do what God has called them to do.
Thus, this is what we are witnessing with Joshua.
Why did God instruct Moses to give some of his authority to Joshua (Numbers 27:20)?
While the people often complained and griped under Moses’ leadership, they still obeyed him. He walked with high integrity and spoke with authority from God. By imparting authority to Joshua, the people would obey him as well. The commissioning was a crucial aspect to transferring leadership.
Write down everything you learn from the following passages:
Deuteronomy 31:14, 23:
God is the one who chose Joshua. And the commissioning made it official. Joshua would have authority and power, just like his predecessor. He would lead God’s people into their inherited land and govern the nation. He would become a great leader and military general. We read at the end of Joshua that “Israel served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the LORD had done for Israel” (Joshua 24:31).
I want you to know that ALL believers have been commissioned, not just pastors, missionaries, and leaders. Let’s close our lesson today by looking at this.
Write down the commission based on Matthew 28:18-20. What does it involve?
On this mountain, Jesus passed His authority to the disciples present. And they took the gospel as far as they could and equipped countless more disciples. Then they passed the authority to us. So, my challenge to you today is to pour yourself into this commission and ask God if you are faithfully fulfilling it.
Write down your thoughts.
Please share your comments in the comments section. It’s always encouraging to hear what others’ are gaining from the Bible study.