Select Wisdom Brand

Dying Request

Numbers 27:15-18
Moses spoke to the LORD, saying, “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the LORD may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.” So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.”

Do you remember in Matthew 9:36 where Jesus had compassion on the crowds and saw them as sheep without a shepherd? That’s the fundamental distinction between shepherds and wolves. A wolf looks out at hapless masses and sneers, seeing how easily he can exploit them, how he can devour them. To a wolf, people are just notifications on a computer screen. Just a growing list of subscribers that he always needs more of. Not to the shepherd. The shepherd sees lost people and desires to bring them home. He doesn’t just pity them for a moment and walk away, but he reaches down to lift them up. One little sheep that goes missing, one soul that’s gotten lost, one infant child that’s been trampled on by wicked men is enough for a shepherd to leave the thriving ministry or the spotlight or a comfortable life in the Midianite hills and begin an all-out search and rescue mission.

Moses’ storied life is nearing its end, and like all godly, exceptional shepherds of any generation he can’t be replaced. But his mission must be advanced. And I’m deeply stirred in my spirit as I watch him take this slow ascent around the final bend of his life and see him effectively turn back around to shed a tear for all the lost sheep he’s leaving behind. A charlatan would laugh and say, “Good riddance!” A mercenary would think only of the coming payout and not even blink an eye. A tyrant would clamor for one more hour on the throne. But not a shepherd. Not a man in the image of His Lord and Savior! Not Moses.

Friend, may Moses’ ambition fuel our own ministries today as we, too, walk in the footsteps of our Good Shepherd Who showed us how to lay down our lives for others.