“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”
Joshua 1:1, 2
It is hard to imagine how the death of Moses must have affected the children of Israel. He had been their spiritual leader for forty years. God used him to cause Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go from their Egyptian bondage. God performed many miracles through His servant. Moses received the law from God and interceded for His people on many occasions. Moses led them through the wilderness experience. Now Moses was dead. What would they do? How could they possibly continue without such a man of God to show them the way?
Our Scripture says that “after the death of Moses…the LORD spake unto Joshua.” God had spoken to Moses on many occasions, but now He is speaking to Joshua. Joshua was to be Moses’ successor as the leader of God’s chosen people. Moses was gone, but that did not mean that God would no longer speak to His people. God would continue to speak to the Israelites, only now He would use Joshua.
Moses had been a man with a mission. His objective in life was to get these people back into the land that had been promised to Abraham. Now Moses was dead. What would happen to this great mission? Our text records that God said these words to Joshua, “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them.” Moses was no longer there to lead, but the work would go forward under the able leadership of Joshua. There are great lessons and encouragement for us in this. For one thing, the Word of God and the work of God do not rest on any individual. As a matter of fact, as much as God wants to use us all, we all can be replaced. We also see anew the importance of discipleship. God used Moses to help prepare the very one that would take over when he went to Heaven. Another thing we should mention – life goes on. When we lose someone that is very dear to us, and think that there is no way to continue, we need to remember that God is there to continue to speak to us, lead us, and use us.