Launchings

Deuteronomy 3:28 “But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see” (NIV).

Observation: Moses has asked the Lord for permission to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land, but God would not be persuaded, and told him to instead climb Mt. Pisgah from where he would be able to see the Promised Land spread before him in all directions. Because of Moses’s limitation, God told him to commission Joshua as the next leader of the nation, the one who would take the people into the land itself.

Application: Isn’t it reassuring to realize that God always has a plan? There is in the text no hint that He disapproved Moses’s request. Such things never surprise Him, and He knew Moses’s heart in the matter. What is fascinating about this passage is the range of emotions Moses must have felt. Was there in Him a sense of completion, of having finished well as the end of exile neared and his own life’s end was in view? Surely he felt no resentment over God’s just judgment. Within the context of Moses’s sin, God had been gracious indeed to allow Moses even Pisgah’s panorama. At this stage in Moses’s life he no doubt felt a deep sense of contentment and peace.

The first time children leave home I gain a glimpse of what Moses must have felt as God directed him to transfer his own leadership commission to Joshua for the years ahead. Will their path be smoother than mine? Will they learn earlier the hard lessons I required years to absorb as to the ways of our great God? Will they have wisdom and perspective as to how God has changed me over the years and brought me to a place of deeper satisfaction in Him? Might their path be somewhat eased by pain I have endured along the way?

These are exactly the kinds of things my heavenly Father carries in His heart and mind toward me. See all He has accomplished in my behalf! Imagine how His heart bursts with joy and hope as I launch my journey. He has borne unimaginable pain on my behalf, all for love. His Father-heart is the same as my own heart as I watch my children find entrance to their own land of promise. I am in the balcony of their lives now, alternately cheering wildly and holding my breath. They, as I, must have the freedom to choose each step; God has done no less for me. Meanwhile, my Bridegroom waits, arms open wide, an enormous grin on His face.

Prayer: O Lord, how You love me! How Your heart longs for me to make wise, generous choices on the path ahead. Thank You for Holy Spirit guidance. Thank You for all You have done to set me on a very good path indeed.

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