Deuteronomy 3: Leaving a Legacy

But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see. -Deuteronomy 3:28

Passing on leadership or a legacy of any kind is a difficult matter. Many miss the opportunity to invest in others by overstaying their time, overlooking a quality successor, or belittling the importance of handing off leadership.

God, however, provided clear directions for Moses to transition his leadership to Joshua. He was to 1) commission, 2) encourage, and 3) strengthen. Commissioning involved recognizing Joshua as the new leader in a public setting. Everyone was to be clear on the new change.

Encouragement involved Moses motivating Joshua in a way that provided confidence during the time of transition. Rather than simply handing over the reigns, Moses was to assist the one who had assisted him for the past forty years.

Strengthening involved a bit of both of the other two traits. To strengthen could include everything from practical instructions to making connections for Joshua with other influencers. We are not given the specifics, only the principle.

Together, these three commands set Joshua up for a successful period of leadership during the nation’s most formative period. It took place, in part, to a key leader who invested and encouraged the one who would live beyond him.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at Find out more about Dillon at or

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