FOR JOSHUA TO LEAD MOSES HAD TO GO AWAY… JUST LIKE JESUS- Deut.3 and John16

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By Edward O’Hara,

Today we will be thinking a little outside the box. Just a little. By looking at the “examples” for which God wrote about the things that happened in Old Testament times. Seeing some parallels between Moses and Jesus. And between Joshua and the Holy Spirit.

Just reading through Deuteronomy and saw where God told Moses he was not going to go into the promised land. It started me thinking about why God did this. And that if you have been told that this was because Moses struck the rock that was to bring forth water for Israel. Instead of speaking to it as God had instructed him to do. Then I want to show you that there is more to this story than you have been told. Much more.

In Deut.3 Moses said, “23 And I besought the Lord at that time, saying,

24 O Lord God, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?

25 I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.”

So here Moses begins by appealing to God on who God is. His greatness and His mighty delivering hand. Saying there is no other that is like Him. To set up the question as to whether God would allow him to go into the promised land.

And what I saw Moses say next is very important to our topic today. He said,

“26 But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.”

Here Moses tells us that God said it was for the people’s sake that God was angry at him and would not hear him. Which started me thinking about the parallels between Moses and Jesus. And Joshua and the Holy Spirit.

And that in Numbers20 this didn’t happen to Moses for striking the rock instead of speaking to it. But, we see instead that Moses was not allowed to go into the promised land because striking the rock instead of speaking to it as God had told him to was an expression of unbelief. So that it was for his unbelief that he was not allowed to go into the promised land. And not because of some bad thing he did.

Here is the passage in Numbers20 where God says this,

“7 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him.

10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?

11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.”

The scripture tells us that the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. And that we are to be angry but sin not. Yet here Moses’ anger toward the children of Israel caused him to strike the rock. Which made it look to the children of Israel as if it was he that caused the water to flow out of it. Rather than God who was to be sanctified in the eyes of Israel.

Now think of the parallel between Moses and Joshua. How unbelief(which by the way does not mean that Moses did not believe God. But, only that his actions made it appear that way) was the reason Moses was not allowed to go into the promised land. But, it was Joshua’s belief, shown to us time and again through his actions as James says is the only way others can see our faith, that was the reason Joshua was the one that led them and went in with them there.

Now think of what Jesus says about Himself and the Holy Spirit in John16:7-11. Could this have happened for the same reason that Moses and Jesus had to leave so that another comforter could take their place? So that we would see that it is only by faith that we are able to enter into God’s rest as Heb.4:3 teaches? And not by the works of the law represented in Moses’ striking of the rock instead of speaking to it?

Remembering that it was Jesus who said in Mt.12:37, “By thy words ye shall be justified. And by thy words ye shall be condemned.” So Moses speaking to the rock was like us speaking to Jesus saying give us the water only you can give for eternal life. Water that when we drink it Jesus said we will never thirst again.

Is there an example here between these that begins with deliverance from sin itself. Represented at the time of Moses by Israel’s bondage in Egypt. And how Jesus literally delivers from sin by first fulfilling the law for Israel. So that those sins that were done under the law would pass away into the same depths of the sea spoken of by Micah the prophet. And as far as the east is from the west as was spoken of by David in the Psalms.

By taking on Himself on the cross the sin of the whole world, to become the lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world as John baptist said, which is the sin of unbelief, that even for Israel under the law having the 7th day sabbath kept them from entering into God’s rest. As Paul taught in Heb.4. And then giving power to a New Covenant wherein there is eternal life to be had by all men when they trust in Jesus and His resurrection to enter into God’s eternal rest.

Remembering that in Isaiah55 God said to her “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Where is this that God sends His word? Isaiah says it is sent to “every one that thirsteth”. Saying for them to, “come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

What are these “sure mercies of David”? They are the grace of God about which David spoke saying, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

Paul asking then, “Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.”

So this blessedness comes to all who will believe in Jesus for eternal life without works. As when Jesus was here walking in Israel confirming the Old Covenant with them. Showing them that it was He that made the covenant with Moses. And that only by trusting in Him as the one who made the covenant with them could they be set free from their bondage to the law. Also saying to them in John6:28,29 that the work of God is that they believe in Him.

Showing them how that having been set free from the law they would now receive the Holy Spirit that would lead them in all truth. No longer shut up unto the faith as it is with those who are led by the law and the prophets.

Showing us that just as they were held back from the promised land while they followed Moses in the wilderness. But, would now be led by Joshua in the promised land. So too being under the law while they were led by Jesus. Only after Jesus left would their faith in Him and His resurrection allow them to enter into “the promised land”, ie eternal life and God’s eternal rest, to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Those like Moses who expressed unbelief while in the wilderness, and were constantly complaining as in Meribah, were not allowed to cross over Jordan to go into the promised land.

So we see that in some ways Moses was an example of Christ in that he also suffered on behalf of the people. Having been kept from going over Jordan into the promised land for their sakes as we read in vs.26 here saying, “26 But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.”

Also we see another parallel when Moses says the Lord “would not hear me”. Because we also see this happen when Jesus was on the cross when He said, “Why hast thou forsaken me?”

It was because Jesus had taken on Himself the sins of the world. That is unbelief. Because becoming as an unbeliever, that is that as 2Cor.5:21 says when “He became sin for us”, He could not communicate with the Father.

And Joshua was a type of the Holy Spirit in that after Moses was gone it was him that led the children of Israel into, and while they lived in, the promised land.

This is not to say that Moses died in unbelief. But, only that his life was an example to us of some of what would be fulfilled in Jesus. And Joshua’s life would be an example to us of some of what was to be fulfilled in the Holy Spirit.

Just look at what the people said to Joshua in Joshua1:16,17 and see how similar it is to what Jesus told the disciples in John16:7-11. In Joshua16 we read, “16 And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.

17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee…”

Showing us a parallel that just as Joshua led them there after Moses was gone, so too does the Holy Spirit lead us now during the time of our sojourning as believers here on earth. Since the day that Jesus left them to sit down at the right hand of the Father. The Holy Spirit here now to lead us and guide us in all truth.

And just as Moses could not go into the promised land, so too Jesus said He could not stay with them. But, that He had to go away or the Holy Spirit could not come.

But, Jesus said He would come back for them. And this He will do when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. After this dispensation of the grace of God has finished its course.

Because who do we see speaking to John in Revelation? None other than Jesus Himself. Just as He did Moses on Mt. Sinai. Showing us that the day is coming when the restrainer will be removed when the fullness of the gentiles has come.

So that all who are filled with the Holy Spirit now. And have been given the ministry of reconciliation that is the restraining force in the world. Will meet Jesus in the clouds when He comes for His bride. And the ministry of the Holy Spirit will end. And Jesus’ will resume to bring an end to the final half of the 70th weeks prophecy of Daniel.

Not because Jesus is not God. And not because Jesus is not the mediator of the New Covenant. But, because Jesus said plainly that He came only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

This is why when His ministry for the time was finished He left. So that another comforter would come to bring all men, and not just Israel, to a saving faith in Jesus. And “that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

So we know that this time of ministry in the New Covenant is led by the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus said in John16:7-11 when He explained to the disciples that He had to go away so that the Holy Spirit could come.

And so we see the similarities in the end of Moses’ ministry and the beginning of Joshua’s. And the end of Jesus’ time on earth and the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s ministry.

How Moses was an example to us of Jesus as he brought Israel from bondage in Egypt. And led them through the wilderness on their way to the land God had promised to them.

And Joshua was an example to us of the Holy Spirit who leads us through the wall of death, through Jordan, that Jesus made by His death and resurrection that separates men from God. To the other side of Jordan to possess of eternal life, the promised land, promised to all who will believe in Jesus and His resurrection.

This done by the faith of Christ as Paul explains in Gal.2:16 saying, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

And there are other examples we can see here between Moses and Jesus, and Joshua and the Holy Spirit. Like when Moses struck the rock. And Jesus made a whip and drove out the moneychangers. It was zeal for God that made them both do this.

Like the 3 days God said to wait till Joshua was to lead them across Jordan. And the 3 days and nights Jesus was in the grave before He conquered death by His resurrection. And the letting down of the men from Rahab’s window to escape the men that would have killed them. And Paul’s being let down by a rope when escaping from those who would have killed him.

But, in all of this the most important question that needs answering is whether or not we have trusted in Jesus? Has the Holy Spirit led you over Jordan, that is through the wall of death that separates men from the Father’s heavenly kingdom, into our promised land which is eternal life?

There is only one way for this to happen. Because there is only one name under heaven by which men can be saved. That name is Jesus. That way is for us to by faith in Jesus walk through the door He made through the wall of death into eternal life, by dying and raising from the dead.

So that when you “speak to the rock” by confessing the Lord Jesus. To be justified by the faith of Christ. And believe in your heart that He raised from the dead. You shall be saved. You will enter into the promise of eternal life by faith without works.

If you will do this then you will be saved. If you will do this then you will have eternal life now. And will be made immortal at the resurrection. If you will do this then you will be made a child of God and heir to His kingdom. If you will do this… then I will see you there or in the air!

This message can also be heard at:

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