March 15

Numbers 27:16-17 16"May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community 17to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord's people will not be like sheep without a shepherd."

Moses was not going to be allowed to go on with the Children of Israel into the Promised Land. He had a heart for the people and knew they needed a strong leader to turn them from sin. They needed a commander who would go before them into battle and inspire them to keep up the fight. Where would you find someone with a heart like Moses, who would plead for the people before God?

He prayed the above prayer asking God to send a man with a real shepherd's heart. God answered that prayer in Joshua. Joshua is the Old Testament form of the New Testament name Jesus. In that day God fulfilled that prayer in Joshua. Joshua didn't completely finish the job though. As great a leader as he was, some of the enemy remained in the land. One enemy group deceived him into making a treaty. The Children of Israel grew weary and would not drive the others out. The result was constant war throughout Israel's history. Along with that came the influence of idolatry that was the greatest of all poisons to Israel.

Ultimately God answered that prayer in Jesus. He is our Shepherd. Unlike the first Joshua He can lead us to victory over all enemies. He is not tricked into any compromises. A man became our Shepherd. He protects, leads, feeds, and cares for us, the sheep of His pasture. Thank God for the ultimate answer to this prayer and for His great ability to lead us into complete victory!

Meditation: Jesus goes before me into battle. I just need to follow.