The book of Deuteronomy was given to reiterate the law to the people. It literally means “the second law”. God tells Moses his leadership is over and Joshua will take his place. We can see how God and Moses handle the transition over the first few chapters.
Look at Deuteronomy 1:38.
Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land. Encourage him, for he will lead Israel as they take possession of it.
Then see 3:21,22.
“At that time I gave Joshua this charge: ‘You have seen for yourself everything the Lord your God has done to these two kings. He will do the same to all the kingdoms on the west side of the Jordan. Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.’
Next is 3:28.
Instead, commission Joshua and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead the people across the Jordan. He will give them all the land you now see before you as their possession.’
After the law is reviewed we see instruction for the people in 31:6.
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Then for Joshua in 31:7-8.
Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.
He repeats the commission in 31:23.
Then the Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun with these words: “Be strong and courageous, for you must bring the people of Israel into the land I swore to give them. I will be with you.”
This tells me some things to do when appointing new leaders.
- The leader and the people all need lots of encouragement. We all need encouragement. No one ever quit due to too much encouragement.
- The leader needs to be “charged” and have a commission. If there is no direction the organization will fail.
- No one needs to be afraid or panic. Fear is faith in reverse. It takes just as much belief in the unseen in fearing as it does to trust God.
- The leader needs to be strong and courageous. God repeats this statement to Joshua several times and in different ways. We need to make sure we communicate strength and courage in as many ways possible.