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Deuteronomy 31

Talks for Growing Christians

Joshua Succeeds Moses as Leader

Deuteronomy 31

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Lesson Number 31

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Spiritual leadership must be passed on to the next generation.
  2. The Lord prepares the spiritual leadership for the next generation.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t be afraid to tell people about God’s anger.

Questions

  1. Give a brief outline of the life of Moses.
  2. What was Moses’ point in Deuteronomy 31:2?
  3. Did the work of the Lord with the Children of Israel end with Moses?
  4. List the four steps Moses took to prepare for the transition of leadership.
  5. How did the Lord prepare Joshua for this transfer of leadership?

Answers

  1. - Forty years in Egypt
    - Forty years in the land of Midian
    - Forty years leading the Children of Israel from Egypt to Canaan
  2. He knew his days were drawing to a close because the Lord had told Moses that he would not cross the Jordan River to enter the Land. This was part of God’s discipline when Moses wrongly struck the rock twice, instead of speaking to it in Numbers 20.
  3. No! The work of the Lord would continue, but the spiritual leadership would be transferred from Moses to Joshua.
  4. 1. Moses made sure the people clearly understood that this transfer should not disrupt or diminish the work of the Lord in any way (verses 4-5).
    2. Moses encouraged both the people and Joshua, the next leader, to be strong and courageous, because they would not fail if they were faithful (verses 6-8).
    3. Moses made sure all Israel knew that Joshua was the next leader (verse 7).
    4. Moses insured that the emphasis on the Word of God would continue by giving directions to the priests to publically read the Law every seven years at the Feast of Tabernacles (verses 10-11).
  5. Joshua first appeared on the scene in Exodus 17 where he proved to be an effective military leader in defeating the Amalekites. Joshua became the right hand man of Moses and was with him on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24). He would have learned many leadership lessons from Moses. Joshua, along with Caleb, was one of the faithful spies.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Of which generation are you in your local church? Are you a Moses or a Joshua? What steps are being taken to ensure the spiritual leadership will be passed on to the next generation? Will it be a smooth transfer?
  2. What steps are being taken in your local church to develop the next generation for spiritual leadership? How will they be ready, as Joshua was, when the time comes for them to lead?

Challenge

  1. Moses did not hold back from reminding the Children of Israel of their sinful natures and the fact that God is angry with sin and sinners. See Psalm 7:11 and John 3:36. We need to tell people that God loves them and has provided a way of salvation through Christ. But don’t be afraid to tell people about God’s anger.

Key Verses

  • “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:7b-8
  • “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, the days approach when you must die; call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of meeting, that I may inaugurate him.’” Deuteronomy 31:14

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