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Numbers 27:12-23: Passing the Torch

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Numbers.

Who carries on for the great leaders? The best of them become living legends and seem irreplaceable. Moses led the Israelites for forty years. A generation had grown up who had known no other leader. But the time came, even for Moses, to pass the torch. Numbers 27:12-23 details how God's people can make such a transition.

Warming Up to God

Think of a time you have lost a beloved pastor, Sunday-school teacher or important spiritual influence. How did you accept the new leader?

Read Numbers 27:12-23

Discovering the Word

  • Moses has been forbidden from entering the Promised Land. How do you account for God's command for Moses to look at the land from the mountains (vv. 12-14)?
  • What does Moses' statement (vv. 15-17) reveal about his state of mind?
  • From this passage (v. 18) and Numbers 14 (vv. 6-9, 30, 36-38) what do you know about Joshua's credentials for leadership?
  • What formalities are commanded for the installation of Joshua (vv. 19-21)?
  • Why is it important for Joshua to be commissioned in this way?

Applying the Word

  • What credentials should you seek in a spiritual leader?
  • How can you build and affirm trust in your church's or Christian group's leaders?

Responding in Prayer

Thank God for the wise leaders he has provided in the past, as well as the ones he has placed before you now. Affirm to him that you will respect and support those leaders.

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