The Lord needed someone to replace Moses, as he disobeyed Him and didn’t uphold Him as holy. Moses had been a faithful follower of God and a strong leader for the Israelites, but leaders are held to higher standards with God. One instance of “messing up” and the consequences have to come.
“Moses spoke to the Lord saying, ‘Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.” (Numbers 27:15-17 ESV)
Sheep are not smart animals. They need a shepherd, someone to follow, someone to look after them. Left on their own and they would not be able to defend themselves against predators. We are like sheep. We need the Good Shepherd.
“So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua, the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him. Make him stand before Eleazar the priest and all the congregation, and you shall commission him in their sight. You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the people of Israel may obey. And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgement of Urim before the Lord. At his word they shall come in, both he and all the people of Israel with him, the whole congregation.” (Numbers 27:18-21 ESV)
Placing someone in authority is a public declaration. There needs to be witnesses and others in authority commissioning a new person. We see this when pastors and deacons are dedicated as well as presidents and kings. Now it was Joshua’s turn to take over for Moses.
“And Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and made him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole congregation, and he laid his hands on him and commissioned him as the Lord directed through Moses.” (Numbers 27:22-23 ESV)
Moses may have lost his job and his opportunity to go into the promised land, but he obeyed the Lord here. He dedicated a new leader to finish the job. His season was over and a new one was starting for Joshua.
May we all see our God given roles in life as of utmost importance. May we see everything we do as “unto the Lord.” May we be good role models for others behind us to do the same.