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Commentary on Parashat Pinchas

Bamidbar (Numbers) 25:10–30:1

In this week’s reading, we find a great example of the godly character and leadership of Moses. Moses and the children of Israel were so close to the Promised Land; the Lord instructs Moses to go up the mountain and see the Land of promise and fulfillment that he had longed for, the Land for which he had labored day and night in order to bring the children of Israel to its borders. Yet, Moses could only see the Land. He would not be permitted to enter it:

Then the Lᴏʀᴅ said to Moses, “Go up to this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the sons of Israel. And when you have seen it, you too shall be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was; for in the wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to treat Me as holy before their eyes at the water.” (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin).

Then Moses spoke to the Lᴏʀᴅ, saying, “May the Lᴏʀᴅ, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lᴏʀᴅ may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.” So the Lᴏʀᴅ said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; and have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation; and commission him in their sight. “And you shall put some of your authority on him, in order that all the congregation of the sons of Israel may obey him. “Moreover, he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the Lᴏʀᴅ. At his command they shall go out and at his command they shall come in, both he and the sons of Israel with him, even all the congregation.” And Moses did just as the Lᴏʀᴅ commanded him; and he took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation. Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, just as the Lᴏʀᴅ had spoken through Moses.
(Numbers 27:12–23)

I am in awe of Moses’ character and integrity; in spite of the fact that he could not enter the Land, he displayed no bitterness in his attitude, but rather showed the heart of a shepherd who truly cared for his sheep. He was a shepherd who knew his sheep, had compassion for them, and knew how much they were in need of someone to lead them:

May the Lᴏʀᴅ, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lᴏʀᴅ may not be like sheep which have no shepherd. (Numbers 27:16–17)

Moses was satisfied with the awesome privilege to be called by God and to serve Him. As a result, we don’t find any indication of anger or a negative attitude. In fact, we see quite the opposite. He had the attitude of a great leader who cared for those God had entrusted to his care; despite their endless grumbling, complaining, lack of faith, and negative attitude, Moses loved his people and cared for them with a heart of integrity and humility.

Are your eyes fixed on the Lord and all that He has done for you? Are you thankful for the mere privilege that you have to simply be chosen by God and to serve Him? Are you satisfied in your heart?

This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel, July 12, 2017, and reposted with permission.

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Moran Rosenblit
Moran is the Founder and Executive Director of Hope for Israel, which is a service and resource-providing ministry that aims to bring the hope of the Messiah back to Israel. It is also a resource center for current and timely news updates concerning Israel that provides daily prayer alerts, Bible teachings, and weekly blogs in order to help believers across the world understand what God is doing in the Land, how to pray for Israel and filter everything through the Word of God.

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