Monday, April 30, 2007


I have been enjoying and have been inspired as I have been reading the story of Moses again in my personal devotions. So what do you think of when you think of Moses? This guy is without question one of the top heroes and leaders of the Bible. This is the guy that went toe-to-toe with Pharaoh multiple times and who ultimately led Israel out of slavery in Egypt. This is the guy who God used to part the Red Sea and who saw the back part of God Himself on the mountain. But as I read in Exodus chapters three and four, I was reminded that this great example of godly leadership had a very rough start.

When God instructed Moses to go back to Egypt, Moses was all about excuses. Not one excuse. Not two excuses. Not three excuses. He threw out four flimsy excuses to God as to why he was not the guy for the job. To each excuse, God would give Moses a supernatural demonstration of His power, but Moses was not easily convinced. In the end, the only thing his excuses did was to make God angry. Finally, Moses concedes.

How many times has that been true in my life as well as yours? God gives us clear instructions through His Word or through the prompting of His Spirit within us and we keep making excuse after excuse until ultimately all we accomplish is to make God angry. And then, after all of that, finally we concede.

So Moses takes his wife and sons and heads back to Egypt, the land where he grew up. He is finally on the right track…or is he? Exodus 4:24 says that they stayed the night at a lodging place along the way and while they were there God sought to put Moses to death. Whoa! What a turn of events. This is sounding more like an episode of the hit television show “24” every minute. Is this Moses we are talking about or Jack Bauer?

Why would God suddenly turn on Moses and want to kill him? As you keep reading you discover that as Moses neared death, his wife grabbed a piece of flint (pictured) and cut off the foreskin of her son (ouch) which resulted in God leaving Moses alone. Like “24”, to understand this you needed to have seen the earlier episodes. Back in Genesis 17, God made a covenant with Abraham and ultimately all of the children of Israel and one of the signs of this covenant was that all Jewish boys would be circumcised when they were eight days old.

Moses, for some reason, had not obeyed God in this matter. How could he ever represent God before Pharaoh and lead Israel out of bondage unless he was fully obeying the Lord? Moses had a rough start to his leadership career. Why? Because when God spoke he was full of excuses and also because there was an issue in his life where he had not fully obeyed God. The same two things will keep us from being great leaders in our world today. When God gives us instructions through His Word or through the promptings of His Spirit, we must throw away the excuses that race through our mind and our heart. If we are going to lead with diligence, as is commanded in Romans 12:8, we must also look closely into every area of our life and identify those parts where we have not yet fully obeyed God. If we don’t, our leadership will be rough from beginning to end.

No comments: