Moses the Reluctant Leader

Moses the Reluctant Leader 

The Biblical story of Moses is very interesting.
Even if you don’t believe the Bible, or you
don’t have a belief in God, this story of Moses
is one that you need to take a look at.

I call him the Reluctant Leader.

MosesHestonYou will find the story of Moses in the Old
Testament book of Exodus, chapter 3 and 4.

His story begins in chapter 2. It tells of his
birth, being abandoned by his family but
being found and raised by the daughter of
Pharaoh. It also tells of how he grew up in Pharaoh’s household and as a grown man
killed an Egyptian. He went on the run and
hid out in the desert working as a shepherd.

He was 40 when he left.

Moses the Reluctant Leader

In chapter 3 you see his encounter with the
burning bush where he hears God talking to
him for the first time. If the Bible is true he
is now about 80.

I see that Moses was the Reluctant Leader in
at least 3 ways:

  1. He says, “The people won’t believe me
    because I am not equipped.”
  2. He says, “I am not eloquent. I am slow
    of tongue and can’t speak correctly.”
  3. He says, “Can’t you really just send
    someone else?”

God had an answer for him each time, to
counteract the excuses that Moses was

You see, Moses really believed in his
excuses. He believed them so much so
that he thought God would buy into them
and forget about Moses being a leader.

Well, of course, God didn’t fall for it.
Instead, God took away the false props
that Moses carried around, leaving him
with no excuses.

Here is the context of this story.

Exodus 4 King James Version (KJV)

And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.

And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.

And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.

And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.

And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.

10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?

12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.

14 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.

16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.

18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.

19 And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.

20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

21 And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him.

25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.

26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

27 And the Lord said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him.

28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.

29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel:

30 And Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.

31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

Moses the Reluctant Leader

The Reluctant Leader is corrected
by God on each of his 3 excuses:

  • He says, “The people won’t believe me
    because I am not equipped.”

God says, What is that in your hand?

I believe God is saying, “Look, Moses, you’ve
been properly trained in the king’s house. You
have a great education and have been trained
as a leader of men.

For the past 40 years you’ve been leading
sheep. What I’m asking you to do is not
much different. But use the tools you have
been given, or in other words, play the
hand you’ve been dealt.”

  • He says, “I am not eloquent. I am slow
    of tongue and can’t speak correctly.”

God is astounded. He says, “I made your
mouth. I made your tongue. I’m going to
teach you what to say. You’re not on your
own here!”

  • He says, “Can’t you really just send
    someone else?”

God, who is exasperated, says, “Look,
your brother, Aaron, is coming. We will
let him be your spokesperson. But, I will
tell you what to say, and you will tell
Aaron what to say.”

Now, go…and get my people set free.

The Reluctant Leader goes and does what
God says. He leads people and not sheep.
It’s a struggle and Moses is not perfect. But,
the job gets done [it took 40 years] and Moses
delivers God’s people to the Promised Land.

Even if you are a Reluctant Leader, you
still have everything within you that you
need to be the Leader you are supposed to be.

Now…go lead.

Chuck Whetstone

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