Today's reading (Dt. 31:1-29) is book-ended by acknowledgement of Moses' mortality. Moses was old and he was going to die. He wouldn't be able to lead Israel forever, and now having brought them to the Promised Land, it was time for Moses to go be with the Lord.
Deuteronomy 31 serves as a "passing-of-the-torch" chapter that sees Moses handing the reins over to Joshua as the new leader of Israel. In this transition of leadership, Moses is sure to:
Encourage Joshua (6,7) - Twice in this passage, Moses says to Joshua "be strong and courageous". The next generation needs to be encouraged to lead. They need to know that things will work out and that God will be with them.
Set Joshua up for Success (12-13) - Moses stresses to Joshua the need to stick to God's word if he wants to be successful. As leaders we have the responsibility of helping set up new leaders for success and passing on our wisdom, experience, and faith is one way to do that.
Warn Joshua (20-22) - Moses also warns Joshua of the consequences of ignoring the commands of God. Moses even serves as an example of this in not being able to enter the Promised Land due to his disobedience. Leaders need to be willing to be open and honest about their own mistakes. Passing on what we learn from our mistakes helps prepare a new generation of leaders to avoid those same things.
Christian, you will not be around forever. Some day you will, like Moses, pass from this life into the next. The church will continue on, but only if you help to encourage, warn, and build up the next generation of leaders.
Believe it or not, but you serve as an example to someone. What can you do personally to warn, encourage, or build up the next generation of leaders?
Pray for the next generation of leaders. Encourage someone younger than you to step up and lead.
If you are older, take some younger Christians under your wing and mentor them. Invite them out to eat and tell them about your experiences as a Christian.
If you are younger, look for someone older and ask them about their life, their mistakes, and their faith. Take the time to listen and grow.
The "Five Minutes with God" articles serve as expansions on the daily Bible study book by the same name. To follow along in this study with us, buy your own copy of the book here or pick up a free copy at the Mannford Church of Christ.