Every generation must have a fresh touch from heaven. God's anointing and deep working can't be passed from one generation to another like a family heirloom. It's true that we can leave our children a wonderful heritage and example, but they must forge their own way in the kingdom of God. They have to fight their own battles. God has many children, but not one single grandchild. He has many generals in His army, but no grand generals. The wise man or woman of God will understand that the kingdom of God is bigger than he is and will last longer than he will live.
Moses was mightily used of God. He was the "greatest prophet to arise in all of Israel." But He knew that God's work would go on long after he was gone. In all probability, he kept his eye out for a young man with a heart for God who was capable of leading the children of Israel. He found that man in Joshua.
Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand. So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up-- one on one side, one on the other-- so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword" (Exodus 17:9-13 NIV).
It was interesting to see how Moses sent young Joshua into battle. Although he allowed Joshua to initially fight the battle, he was never far away. He was within eyesight of Joshua pointing him to the Source of victory. Moses wisely allowed Joshua to fight and win the battle, but he gave direction to secure the final victory.
We find a pattern that begins to emerge in the relationship between Moses and Joshua. First, Moses does the work of God. Then Moses allows Joshua to do the work of God while he stands near by. Ultimately, Joshua would do the work of God when Moses was gone. That's God's pattern for raising up a new generation of leaders. First, we do the work. Then they do the work with us. Finally they do the work.
But Moses did more than mentor Joshua in the work of God. He discipled him in his walk with God. The Bible says, "The LORD said to Moses, 'Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.' Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God" (Exodus 24:12, 13 NIV). When Moses had that awesome encounter with God, Joshua wasn't very far away.
When Moses would meet with God in the "tent of the meeting" and the presence of God was so powerful, Joshua was in the tent with him. Even when Moses left the tent, Joshua would hang around. He didn't want to leave the presence of the Lord. Moses mentored Joshua in the work of God, but most importantly, he mentored in his deep intimate walk with God.
It's easy to train men and women to do the outward works of God, but it's another thing to train them to walk humbly with God. But Moses understood that the work of God was a spiritual work that would take deeply spiritual men to accomplish. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, but Joshua would lead them into the promised land. Because Moses mentored Joshua, the work he accomplished didn't stop with his death. A new generation was prepared to take the baton and run the race.
If we are wise, we will not only do the work of God, but we will help the next generation to know, love, and walk with Him.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon