Numbers 27:18: “And the LORD said to Moses: ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.'”

November 5th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Moses was coming to the end of his leadership. They had reached the Promised Land, and because of Moses’ disobedience he would not be allowed to enter. The second half of Numbers 27 marks the beginning of the transfer of Moses’ leadership to someone else. God told Moses to take Joshua because he was already empowered by the Holy Spirit, and lay his hand on him.

God instructed Moses to publicly place his hands on Joshua to signify the transfer of his leadership to Joshua. Before this, the laying on of hands had signified a transfer of the people’s sin to a sacrifice. Moses and Joshua mark the first time God commanded it to convey a transfer of spiritual service. In the New Testament when deacons were chosen in Acts 6:6, they were presented to the apostles, who prayed and laid hands on them. The idea both in the Old and New Testament is the same; the Holy Spirit was at work in these men and the laying on of human hands simply pointed to the fact that God’s hand was already on them.

This is an important concept for us to grasp. Peter tells us to surrender to God’s hand. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). The Greek word here for humble means to have an attitude of lowly mindedness. We need to adopt a “serving is not beneath us” attitude. Peter is saying we should submit to God’s will even when we don’t understand it. We might have questions about God and what He’s doing, but Peter says, “Don’t worry, go ahead and submit to Him anyway, and eventually it will all make sense. In the mean time, cast all your anxieties on Him.” Peter says to submit “under the mighty hand” because he understands that God exalts the humble as well as casts down the proud; therefore, humble yourselves that “He may exalt you.” Finally it says, “in due time,” meaning in God’s time, not ours. Joshua served God by faithfully serving Moses in small things for many years, and then in due time, he was ready to serve the Lord in big things. It isn’t the bigness or smallness of our duties that is important, but the submitted attitude of our hearts.

“LORD, we surrender anew to You this day, in Jesus’ name.”