Naming a Successor (or Would a successor by any other name smell as sweet?)

Moses does something quirky to Joshua.

He changes his name.  Like Simon to Peter or Saul to Paul or Ochocinco to Ochostinko.

As leaders, we probably won't get to change the names of the people who come after us.

But we can name them.

Moses takes a guy named Hoshea and changes his name to Joshua.  This doesn't seem like a big deal to those of us who don't speak Hebrew (those of you who speak Hebrew are probably so excited right now).

Hoshea means "salvation."  Joshua means "God saves."  Such a small difference.  But a significant one.

Just a few short chapters after this event in Numbers 13, God's people are losing heart, fearing that they'll never enter the land of promise.  But not Joshua.  He doesn't just look for salvation, conquest.  He knows to expect salvation to come from God.  So even if the odds are against the people of God, there's hope.

Joshua's hope comes to define him throughout his career as a leader.

What words and names do we speak over our successors?  "God is salvation" or "You're second best"? "God is salvation" or "You're not qualified"? "God is salvation" or "You're on your own"?

I want to bless the people who step in after me, to encourage them, to name them well.

God is salvation.  I hope Kevin hears that from me.

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