Summary: To lead the people to understand how to choose leaders who are both goal-oriented and people oriented.
Moses’ Last Journey – Numbers 27:12-23; Deut. 34
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand how to choose leaders who are both goal-oriented and people oriented.
Illustration:In The Christian Leader, Don Ratzlaff retells a story Vernon Grounds came across in Ernest Gordon’s Miracle on the River Kwai. The Scottish soldiers, forced by their Japanese captors to labor on a jungle railroad, had degenerated to barbarous behavior, but one afternoon something happened.
"A shovel was missing. The officer in charge became enraged. He demanded that the missing shovel be produced, or else. When nobody in the squadron budged, the officer got his gun and threatened to kill them all on the spot . . . It was obvious the officer meant what he had said. Then, finally, one man stepped forward. The officer put away his gun, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death. When it was over, the survivors picked up the bloody corpse and carried it with them to the second tool check. This time, no shovel was missing. Indeed, there had been a miscount at the first check point.
"The word spread like wildfire through the whole camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others! . . . The incident had a profound effect. . . The men began to treat each other like brothers.
"When the victorious Allies swept in, the survivors, human skeletons, lined up in front of their captors . . (and instead of attacking their captors) insisted: ’No more hatred. No more killing. Now what we need is forgiveness.’"
Don Ratzlaff, The Christian Leader.
2. Explanation of the Aim: Moses asked God to appoint a leader who could shepherd the people and guide them to accomplish His purposes.
In our lesson we learn how the Lord led Moses in selecting Joshua as a man who could manage both the internal and external affairs of the Israelites. Joshua was a great successor since he had both people skills and task proficiencies in being able to administrate the affairs of the more than two million Jews.
God gives godly people like Moses the wisdom to select successors who will be able to lead men into battle for the accomplishing of His purposes.
God appoints people for leadership and mentors equip them for work of service.
The Lord will give wisdom to us in choosing leaders who will both care for peoples’ needs and help them to reach their goals.
3. The Bible Story: Our lesson teaches us how the Lord guided Moses to select a suitable successor as one who would lead the Israelites into the promised land. It all begins with Moses prayer where he said, “O Lord, the God of the spirits of all living things, please appoint a new leader for the community. Give them someone who will lead them into battle, so the people of the Lord will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” (Numb. 27:16,17)
When you consider selecting a leader be sure that you begin by trusting the Lord in prayer for His guidance, wisdom and supernatural working in the process.
4. The INTRODUCTION helps the people think about how leaders are chosen? What are some of the wrong ways that leaders obtain their offices? What are some of best ways that leaders are chosen using Biblical criteria? Why does God ultimately have the right to appoint the best leaders to position of responsibility?
Why is it true that the Bible says, “Promotion does not come from the east, the west or the south, but God is one who sets up one and puts down another.”
5. The BIBLE STORY helps us learn some of the insights into selecting new leaders. The final journey of Moses also teaches us that every ministry has cycles that includes a beginning, a middle and an ending. God used Moses for specific ministries and now it was time for another leader to lead the Israelites into the promised land. Let us not become jealous, envious or bitter when it may be our time to hand leadership over to another.
6. The MEANING FOR OUR LIVES gives the people an opportunity to make applications from the lesson.
What are some of the ways that Moses gave us a model for how to select, train and commission a new leader? Ask the people if they know of people who are like Moses? Find out if the people know of any people like Joshua? What are some of the reasons that God used Moses for certain ministries and Joshua for other tasks? How does God give people different gifts and talents that are suitable to accomplish His will for their life?
6. Help the people think about how leaders are chosen? What are some of the wrong ways that leaders obtain their offices? What are some of best ways that leaders are chosen using Biblical criteria? Why does God ultimately have the right to appoint the best leaders to position of responsibility? Why is it true that the Bible says, “Promotion does not come from the east, the west or the south, but God is one who sets up one and puts down another.”