Numbers Chapter 27:12-23

“Leaving A Legacy”


Intro: President Harry Truman used to tell the story of a man who was hit on the head and fell into a deep coma.

He stayed there for along time. People thought he was dead so they sent him to a funeral home and stuck him in a coffin. At 2:00 a.m. all alone in this dimly lit room, he sat up and looked around. "Good night!" he said. "What’s going on? If I’m alive, why am I in a casket? And, if I’m dead, why do I have to go to the bathroom?"


A)We often hide our fears of death in humor. However, one thing is certain: DEATH IS UNAVOIDABLE. We’ve all heard the old saying, "Nothing is sure but death and taxes."


B)The Bible says in Heb.9:27, "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment."

1) Our death is "appointed." We all have an appointment with death.


C) But here is the thing : Death may be unavoidable, but LEAVING A LASTING LEGACY IS OPTIONAL.

1) The American writer  Mark Twain summed up the idea of leaving a lasting legacy with this, "Let us endeavor to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry."


Well we see in our text this morning where God revealed to Moses that he was going to die

A)It was time for Moses to be gathered to his people


B) But when God gives this Revelation to Moses, Moses concern is not for himself but for the people

1)   Moses understood by now that God worked thru human leaders & so Moses wanted to make sure the people were in good hands


C) Now the man that God choose was Joshua – who is identified in several places – Numbers 11:28 as being the Assistant to Moses

D) In other words Joshua was part of the Legacy of Moses – a close look at their lives reveals that there were some distinct things that Joshua learned from being around Moses


E) His life, heart & Character were shaped from being in close contact w/ this man of God Moses for 40 yrs { It takes time


So this morning I want to consider some of those things & I pray the Lord would use it to stir our hearts concerning Leaving a godly Legacy

A)To our Kids & to those who are behind us here in the fellowship


B) Now it is interesting to me that the Lord put this passage on my heart before I left for Africa – to preach on when I came back

1)   But I have to tell you that it took on a whole new meaning when I was in Africa


C) See Moses wanted to leave the people in Africa in good hands – Well I discovered that the People in Africa are not in good hands

1) Not Politically – so many of their Governments are run by corrupt men & also not Spiritually { Many of the Pastors are corrupt { Church is sick


Now here is something I learned about Africa that I didn’t know – when talking about Africa you really need to divide it into at least 2 sections

A)There is northern Africa : Places like the Sudan / extremely Muslim but in Central & Southern Africa – much of what is below Sudan


B) There is a heavy Christian influence because the British & the French settled there – Bringing Christianity


C) But over the last 30 yrs or so the Church in Africa has been inundated by the Health Wealth & Prosperity movement from the states

1)   The idea that God wants you Healthy & Wealthy : God wants to do incredible signs & wonders – Rodney Howard Brown – South Africa


D) All of this is possible if you just have enough Faith

So here is what happens the American Pastor comes Benny Hinn – He is the picture of all those things: Suits entourage

A)Huge Crusades – African people show up in mass


B) Corrupted the African Pastors – { Image of Success

1)   Titles: Bishop 10 Churches / Apostle  { American Schooling – American Support { Living large { show Mom’s house


C) Pastor is King { He doesn’t serve the People / He is served by the people { Howard was tempted 

1) Because of this mentality – everyone wants to be a Pastor – it is an easy life


D) What you end up w/ is many Pastors who have the mentality of the Pastors God describes in Ezk 34:1- { ME READ}


Now because the mentality of the Pastors there is to care for their own needs & not the needs of the people

A)The Church is weak & anemic / the pastors are striving against each other & the flock gets scattered – Chasing winds of Doctrine


B) Result : Spiritism is prevalent – Promiscuity is Rampant & 50% of the Population has AIDS


C) But Praise God there is a group of men there – Church team ministries – add them to your Prayer list

1)   These men have a heart for Africa – They are men who have all been broken by God who have come out of this background { saw their error


D) Their lives have been touched by the message of the cross { They believe that Africa can be reached if the Pastors will turn back to the Lord

1)   If they will surrender their lives to the message of the Cross & desire to live a Crucified life



Here is what they are doing: Conference invite Pastors –

A)Blast them in Love : open the scriptures & point out how that whole Health wealth &  Prosperity gospel is contrary to Scripture


B) They are calling the Pastors to Repentance { Some receive it but not all

1)   They send in Follow up teams 2nd Stage to build on the Foundation


C) I think WE can be used in 3rd Stage : Once Pastors hearts are surrendered

1)   We can send teams of Pastors & Elders from CC to teach them the word & importance of taking their people thru the word


D) Much of Africa is Biblically Illiterate – don’t know how to be Bereans


Now getting back to our text we see there were two qualifications that Moses had for his successor

A) QUALIFICATION #1: V.16 He must be God’s Choice Let the Lord God set a man over the Congregation


B) See Moses Knew this couldn’t be left up to the people: Remember King Saul ? 

1)     Later in their history, Israel decided they wanted a king like all the other nations.


C) Saul was Chosen 1 Sam.9:2 describes him as "choice and handsome… There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people."


D) Saul was handsome / he was impressive from an outward prospective

1) He would have been a good political candidate in our era – he would have looked good in TV Advertisements & Mag covers


E) Saul may have physically been everything you would want in a king, but spiritually and morally he was bankrupt.



In 1 Sam.16, God sent the prophet Samuel to Jesse’s house with the word that one of his son’s would be king.

A)The oldest boy Eliab was brought before him. He too must have had a striking appearance because Samuel said, "Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!"


B) However the Lord said, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."


C) Seven of the sons of Jesse passed before Samuel and none were the right one. Finally, they called for David, the shepherd boy.

1) When Samuel saw him, the Lord said, "Arise anoint him, for this is the one!"


D) God called David a man after his own Heart – Joshua was also such a man but He learned it from Moses

1)   Much of what Joshua had become as a leader & a man of God came from Moses influence


What did Joshua learn from Moses that made him a man after God’s own heart & a great leader ?

A)HE LEARNED TO CLIMB – Ex 24 God tells Moses to come & meet w/ him on top of Mt Sinai – one of many such trips


B) Moses was instructed to bring Joshua w/ him

1) Now there in the Sinai Peninsula where the Children of Israel are camped is a series of Granite mountains – ranging from 4,000 – 9,000 feet


C) We are not exactly sure which peak the Lord met w/ Moses on – but it was no easy trip {


It was there that Joshua learned that if you are going to be close to God sometimes it will involve some effort & some sacrifice

A)After Moses met w/ God his face glowed from being in God’s Presence 

B) There Joshua learned that God is the Rewarder of those who diligently seek after Him

1)   Joshua purposed in his heart that he would be a climber – he would be a man who would do what was necessary to seek after God


C) Not many climbers in our day & age – Fast food Christianity – we give the Lord 10 minutes & wonder why our lives are so shallow


In Switzerland at the foot of alps is a tombstone of a Mt. Climber / It simply reads he died CLIMBING

A)   I Like that – Not Sliding / not Veggieing / but Climbing


B)    I think that is a good Description of what the Christian life is to be Like a Continual Climb

1)   Always desiring to go – Higher & further in our walks – Never getting comfortable or complacent – but always Desiring more of God


C)    Not looking to see how much like the world we can be but how much like Jesus / Looking to go deeper into Him 

1)   And experiencing New Heights w/ Him!!!!


So Joshua became a climber – A man who was after God’s own heart / a man who was all to willing to submit to the Lord’s leading


2nd thing that Joshua learned from Moses was about making right Choices { Ex 33 Sin in the Camp

A)God says that he would not dwell in the camp – Moses tears down the tent of meeting – drags it outside the camp –


B) His desire was for the Presence of God – more than anything else

1) Interesting we read in Ex.33 Moses went in & out between the Tab of meeting & the Camp of Israel – Joshua just stated w/ the Lord


C)There that Joshua learned to do what ever it takes to insure that you are in the presence of God { Pilot the Rat – landing gear cord – Climb !!!!!

D) Mentality – do what ever it takes to deal w/ the sin { The Gnat in the Room –{ Howard You have got to kill that thing



3rd thing Joshua learned from being around Moses was He learned about Faith { God’s Provision & God’s Deliverance

A)Red Sea – Enemies / Miraculous Provision in Wilderness


B) Joshua saw it all – and he Knew that the man who has God w/ him is invincible in the things that God calls him to do

1) Sent into to Spy out the Land – He believed { Turn Joshua 1


C) Time to assume role of Successor – time to step up to the plate – his heart is filled w/ fear – he doesn’t think he is qualified for the task

1)   God tells him to be strong indicating that he thought himself to be weak / God says to be courageous – indicating he was afraid


D)   Just as I was w/ Moses I will be w/ You – That is all Joshua needed to hear – he hits the ground running



Joshua was a man after God’s own heart which he learned from Moses

A)Interesting that Moses had to be broken, humbled  & stripped of himself to become such a man


B) But Joshua was able to become that way w/out being broken – because he saw Modeled in the life of Moses what a Leader is to be

1)   Popular saying Tozer – God cannot use a man greatly until He has broken him deeply – very true –


C) But I do believe that it is possible to learn thru the breakings of others

1)   Joshua learned to be a great leader because of the Influence of Moses upon his life – therefore He was God’s Choice – to succeed Moses


2. QUALIFICATION #2: He must be a Caring Leader.v.17

A)Moses prayed that God would set a man "who would care for the sheep & lead them like a Shepherd bringing them in & out


B)Moses was asking God for a people person, a man with a shepherd’s heart. 1) He was saying, "God don’t send them some aloof scholar. Don’t send them some corporate CEO type. Don’t send them a buddy or a pal.


C) Send them a real leader." A man who will give himself for the Sheep / who would care more about their well fare than his own

1)   Joshua had a Shepherds heart – BUT I suggest to you that he learned it from Moses


D) He saw in Moses a Humble Selfless servant !!!


Remember the time in Ex. 23 God was upset w/ the People – said I will send an Angel to lead you – but I will not lead you

A)Moses said to the Lord – no – if we can’t have you we don’t want anyone if you are not going to lead us – than we are not going


B) Joshua learned there from Moses – that when it comes to God’s people don’t settle for 2nd best


C) And then there was the time in Ex.____ God was upset w/ the People again & was ready to destroy them – A New nation – Your name

1)   Children of Moses – Again Moses objected – God’s name would be Blasphemed – Moses interceded on behalf of the people


E)    Joshua learned there from Moses – that a real leader will be concerned most for the name of the Lord – He will intercede for God’s people


So we see that Joshua was a man who was a true shepherd who cared for the Sheep



3rd Qualification v.18 Full of the Spirit

A)Joshua learned from watching Moses – what mattered most in a leader wasn’t that he was full of himself or self confidence


B) What mattered most was that he was full of God !!!  God said concerning Joshua – that he was full of the Spirit

1)   Joshua was a Spirit filled man !!!!


So we see in this that Joshua was God’s choice to lead – but Joshua was part of the Legacy that Moses left behind

A)His life / heart / his Character was shaped from being w/ Moses & watching Moses –


B) Not that Moses was perfect but he was consistent – His life made a Huge impact


C) Question: What kind of Legacy are you leaving for Your Kids – what are they learning from watching you ?

1)   So often when we think of leaving a Legacy we think of the Physical things – nice house / good business / strong work ethic


D) All of those things are good things – But what about Spiritually


ARE YOU A CLIMBER – Higher & Deeper w/ the Lord ?


What are your Choices saying ? What is important –


What about Faith ? Living a life of Faith


What about the Body of Christ – Attitude /actions saying to your kids about the Body – { Do you serve / are you involved


In France during WWII General Douglas MacArthur said to a battalion commander, "Major when the signal comes to go over the top, I want you to go first, before your men. If you do, they’ll follow." MacArthur then took a Distinguished Service Cross from his own uniform & pinned it on the major, in effect awarding him for an act of bravery he had yet to complete.