And the Lord said to Moses: “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and inaugurate him in their sight.” (Numbers 27:18-19)
In the previous devotion, we focused on Moses’ prayer at the end of his tenure over the people; a prayer that God would raise up a new leader — one who would have the heart of a shepherd. Moses had led them to the land but Joshua, the son of Nun, was destined to lead them into the Land. It was he who possessed the heart and spirit required to lead them in the stead of Moses. Interestingly, his name had been changed to Joshua, which is in itself interesting, but even more interesting when we consider that Joshua — in Hebrew, Yehoshua — means “He will save.” So not only does his name portend his ability and call to lead the people but also strongly suggests that Joshua was a prototype of another who was destined to lead God’s people. (As a footnote, “Nun” is a Hebrew word translated as “posterity” and more commonly translated as “fish” or “something that multiplies”).
The above observation is based on the fact that Yehoshua, stemming from the root ישע yasha (“to save,”) is in the future tense. In other words, Joshua’s life and ministry was intended to point us to a future savior. That, of course, is Messiah whose Hebrew name Yeshua means “He saves” (present tense). Joshua was a promise that God would save His people; Yeshua is the fulfillment of that promise because He saves right now! Underscoring this important distinction is a conversation that Yeshua had with Zacchaeus when He said: “Today salvation (yeshua) has come to his house, in that he also is a son of Abraham” (Luke 19:9). In other words, his salvation was present; it was “today” — not in the distant future. And by the way, this exchange occurred in Jericho — the place that marked Joshua’s first engagement in conquering the Land.
And so our point, today, is that while others have previously played a role in our spiritual journey, it is Yeshua, our Good Shepherd, who will lead us all into the Land, which is to say, our destiny. Under His care we live, we thrive and we multiply. And being under His Kingship, we are to busy ourselves with the work He has given us to do — to go into the world and be fishers of men. To proclaim and declare that deliverance doesn’t have to delayed any longer but that, “Today is the the day of salvation.”
Blessings and Shalom,