"My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure." Psalm 71:15 (NIV)
Even as I read and study God's Word to know Him and His promised salvation, I realize "I know not its measure." I have some grasp of the completeness of God's salvation provided through the Lord Jesus Christ, but I know I am deficient in comprehending it's magnitude, glory, and cost.
My God and Father, I do desire to tell of your righteousness and salvation, even though I realize I do not know its measure and never will until I see You and am free of the consequences of sin and rebellion against You. O God, my God, who is like You? I will sing praise to You both with my tongue and my soul, which You redeemed.
1 Peter 5:1-4
Peter, an elder who saw all Jesus Christ experienced, is describing the proper attitude of an overseer in the church. How do you treat the "flock"? How do you view your responsibilities? Peter bases his instruction on having seen both the suffering and the glory of the chief Shepherd. These under-shepherds should expect their experience to be similar to His, both glory and suffering. As examples of Christ's leadership, they will receive a crown of glory when He returns.
These four verses reminded me of Moses and Joshua. Just as Peter is concerned for both the flock and the under-shepherd, so was Moses. After the LORD told Moses he would die after seeing but not entering the promised land, Moses' thoughts turned to the people he had shepherded all those years. Do you think that would have been your first thought? I am not sure it would have been mine.
Moses wanted God to raise up a man who the Israelites could follow. Notice God's qualification for Joshua in Numbers 27:18, a man "in whom is the Spirit." The LORD instructed Moses to lay his hands on Joshua in front of the priest, thereby transferring his authority to him in the eyes of the nation.
Moses is worthy of admiration for many reasons, but his concern for God's honor and the people of God is noteworthy. Even after God tells Moses he will not enter the Promised Land; his concern is for God and his people. Moses, the man through whom God gave His law, which is summarized as "love the LORD your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself," lived out that instruction with his last official act.
Chief Shepherd, the God of the spirits of all flesh, thank You for raising up men after Your own heart. Thank you for the examples of Peter, Moses, and Joshua. Please continue to give Your church men who, like Paul, can say "Follow me." Holy Spirit, You who dwelt in Joshua, please protect those overseers of the church as they too experience both the glory and the sufferings of the Chief Shepherd.