Moses as Leader – The Story
Moses is up on the mountain receiving the law from God. Meanwhile, down in the valley, the people of Israel have built and are
worshiping a golden idol. Before they have even received the law, the people have broken the first two commandments.
In response to this, Exodus 32:7-10 records that God proposed a plan to wipe out the nation of Israel and start over with Moses as the patriarch of a new nation. Warren Wiersbe, in his book, Becoming a Servant of God, points out the significance of this offer. From a
human perspective, it doesn’t get any better than becoming the father of a whole nation. By anyone’s standard, this would be a significant honor and achievement.
But look at how Moses responds. Instead of taking God up on the offer, he begins pleading for the nation of Israel. He intercedes on their behalf, even while the nation is still in party mode and not ready to acknowledge their error.
Moses as Leader – The Principle
As the title of this post indicates, the principle is that leaders do the best thing for their people even when the people do not know or appreciate what is being done.
From a human perspective, what did Moses get from this transaction? He got 40 more years of whining and aggravation from the people, he got his leadership challenged, he got overworked and died in the wilderness without a permanent home.
From an eternal perspective, Moses deepened his relationship with God, secured a significant place in God’s program and died knowing that he had done the right thing for the people that God called him to lead and to serve.
At the foundation of Moses’ ability to serve his people was his relationship with God. It was this relationship that provided the understanding that God is the source of the responsibility and the privilege of leading the people. When things got tough, Moses took his cues from his Heavenly Father.
Moses as Leader – The Application
In our society, examples abound of leaders who abuse the privilege of their position. Decisions are made which provide wealth and security of the leader and those in his social circle. We can find examples in commercial enterprises and politics.
Our society is crying out for leaders who will lead for the benefit of the people below them on the organization chart. Thankfully, there are some leaders who do this, but not enough.
We see CEO’s making millions of dollars while laying off significant numbers of people. We see politicians leveraging future generations by spending money that they don’t have. Read the news headlines on any giving morning and you will find at least one example of the abuse of power.
Sadly, the visible church is not exempt from this behavior. We have seen decisions made in church organizations that are contrary to clear Scriptural teaching, all because of pressure from the outside or an attempt to swell the numbers in the auditorium.
To church leaders I offer this encouragement. If you are first-and-foremost tuned into God through prayer and Scripture reading, you will lead well and for the benefit of those you lead. Your people need you to have this relationship because like the people of Israel, the greatest need is to hear from God. We have the advantage of the written word, so read the word, live the word and preach the word.
As to those days when you are frustrated by the people you lead I offer this. God sees and he will be your refuge and strength.
Stand firm in that knowledge.