February 18, 2023
“When the community quarreled in the Wilderness of Zin, both you and your brother Aaron rebelled against My command to uphold My holiness in their sight at the waters.”
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“When the community quarreled in the Wilderness of Zin, both you and your brother Aaron rebelled against My command to uphold My holiness in their sight at the waters. Those were the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin. So Moses appealed to the Lord, ‘May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the community who will go out before them and come back in before them, and who will bring them out and bring them in, so that the Lord’s community won’t be like sheep without a shepherd.” Numbers 27:14-17
Among church congregations, leadership and succession are of high importance. That is, “Who will lead us?” and “Who will replace our leader when he is gone?”
Most churches are governed by boards of elders or deacons. These boards exist because of a high concern that a renegade pastor may amass too much power. Under this system of governance, the preacher works under the authority & advisement of a group. The “group” government only works to the extent that the group seeks the Lord and shares a clear vision of God’s leading.
Other congregations allow the pastor greater authority. This form of government is called the “Moses” model. The “Moses” model only works to the extent that the leader is humble, seeks the Lord’s will above his own will, and receives wise counsel from others.
The purpose of either congregational leadership model is to uphold the Lord’s holiness in the sight of the people. Any leadership model that fails to uphold God’s holiness will ultimately fail in its attempt to lead the congregation to realize all that He desires for them. A flawed component of earthly leaders is that they are human! No human (or group of humans) will ever completely uphold God’s holiness. Still, God chooses to install human leaders. Furthermore, we should submit to leaders because they are God’s provision.
Let’s consider the kind of leader Moses petitioned the Lord for on behalf of Israel: one who had gone out and come back in. Moses came out of Egypt (exile), and then he came back into Egypt to lead Israel out. Sadly, Moses was unable to lead Israel into the Promised Land. Interesting to note is that Moses had never been to Canaan. But Joshua had. Joshua and Caleb had both been there. They were the scouts who gave a faithful report. Their report earned them the right to re-enter Canaan and lead others there, as well.
Jesus’ name “Yeshua” is the Hebrew equivalent of the name Joshua meaning “God saves.” Jesus - the “greater” Joshua - came from Heaven, and by virtue of His resurrection, He has returned there. Jesus told His disciples He was going to prepare a place for us and that He would return to bring us back with Him.
The first Joshua led God’s people, Israel, to an earthly “promised land.” And Jesus, the greater Joshua, will lead His people, both Jew and Gentile, to the “Promised Land,” the New Jerusalem. (John 14:2-3; Revelation 21:1-3)
©Steve Wiggins 2021