Peace be with you!
Transitions are both exciting and downright scary. A new adventure—job, move, school, [whatever “it” is]—is always exciting, because we are one step closer to achieving a long-term dream. However, the new adventure can also be scary, because it means a dozen changes in our lives—new city and new home—and leaving behind our comfort zone—our friends and family, our local surroundings, and our community. Transitions involve changes that excite and challenge us.
The Israelites are facing a transition: entering the Promised Land. The Lord shows Moses the land he promised to Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac from Mount Nebo before he dies (Deuteronomy 34:1–4; Numbers 27:18-20). However, the Lord does not allow Moses to enter the Promised Land. After forty years of following Moses in the wilderness, the Israelites are at the edge of the Promised Land where they must say farewell to their leader. When Moses dies, the Israelites mourn for thirty days before entering the Promise Land.
The transition involves two major changes for the Israelites. First, the Israelites must accept Moses’s appointee, Joshua, son of Nun, as their new leader (Deuteronomy 31:14, 23). After forty years of following Moses, the Israelites have grown used to Moses’s leadership style and have a relationship with him. Now the Israelites must say goodbye to Moses and follow Joshua. Anytime a change in leadership happens, people have to mourn the loss of their previous leader. The Israelites take thirty days to mourn Moses’ death and to get their minds wrapped around leaving him behind to follow Joshua into the Promised Land. A new era awaits the Israelites, but they pause to honor Moses and his leadership.
Second, the Israelites transition from wandering in the wilderness to living in the Promised Land. However, war against the Canaanites would have to transpire before Israel would take hold of their promised nation. Transitions usually involve some kind of loss. My family has suffered an unusual amount of loss the past month. Two of my grandparents went to heaven. Now we are left to mourn and begin to process what that means: who will look after my widowed Grandma, who will comfort and reassure us, who will say grace at the family gathering, and [whatever “it” is] that they always did. Although we know they are in heaven with the Lord, we pause and reflect before moving forward into a new era that will be led by the next generation.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for Moses’s leadership for those forty years in the wilderness. Help us to transition into the next phase of our lives. Lead the next generation to walk in your ways and to continue the work of those who went before us. Thank you for being with us in these transitions. Amen.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the behavior covenant by commenting on it.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
- What kind of transitions are you going through right now?
- After whom do you model your leadership skills?