We have been told that Moshe was a great leader. He led the people out of Egypt, he led the people through the Sea of Suf, he led the people through the desert, he led the people to the Promised Land.
But did he lead?
Look, I’m all for Moshe. He was a great man, although I think he would say he was nothing. After all, we are told he was the humblest of all men. I served as an Executive Office of a company of US Marines (over 365 men and millions of dollars of equipment), a manager in different businesses, had a business, been a worker and been a peon, I know the difference between leadership and management.
Leadership wasn’t Moses’s strength. God led the people. God provided the sustenance, the protection, and the ideas that brought them forth. God provided all they needed and it was all His plan.
Moses was a really good General Manager, in that he took the instructions that God gave him and made them work. Moses did as he was instructed, and made sure the people did so, too. That is the mark of a great manager. And, like all great managers (and leaders), he showed them how to do it by living it. If there was anything Moses “led”, it was that he led by example.
Is this a diss against Moses? No: it is a reality check. We need to remember that God is in charge, and He is the leader. He makes the plan, He gets the materials, He has the ideas. We are followers, we are the ones that do what God has planned for us. And the ones that are in charge of the people are God’s Management Team. The Pastors, Priests, Rabbis, Ministers, and all the other titled “religious leadership” are really not leaders, but managers.
Think of the believer Community as God’s employees. We have all applied for the position of Believer in the one, true God. The job is a lifetime commitment, with very few perks, low pay (if any) and often it is not viewed as an influential position by the World. Oh, yeah, it can be dangerous and even fatal in some parts of the world.
Given the above facts, you may ask, “Why even want to work for God and Son, Inc?” It’s because they offer a really great retirement plan.
Therefore, let’s keep our perspective. Let’s continue to honor those who have managed God’s people, who listen to His plan and follow it. But lets recognize it for what it is so that we can give credit where credit belongs- to the Lord. Truth is, leadership and management are two sides of the same coin- you have to have a little of one to be effective as the other. But, ultimately, it is God who leads. He always has, He does, and He always will.
Why am I being so adamant about what some may consider just wordplay? It is because as humans we always try to take credit. I don’t want to take credit for God’s work, I shouldn’t even take credit for managing His people (if I ever find myself in that position). I want to make sure I always give credit for the leadership of God’s people where it belongs- with God. Also, I want to make sure I never get the idea that whatever I hear God tell me to do, in His name, is something I might think of as my own idea. It’s hard to hear God when I am making too much noise of my own.
Again I say, if I do something good and wonderful, it is God working through me; when I do something totally stupid and useless, that’s when I can take full credit.
You know, this discussion borders on the dichotomy of Free Will and Predestination, two apparent opposites. In light of that, let me submit to you an allegory I heard once how Judaism combines these antithetical idealisms:
God is the captain of a ship, and this ship is going from Creation to Eternity. Those who ask to travel with God are allowed on (all who call on His name…) but we are also allowed to jump off. The work on the ship is hard, and we are expected to do our share of it. At the end, God’s ship will arrive, His plan will be done, whether we are with Him or not. The predestination of God’s plan will be realized, and throughout the journey we have the freedom to choose to stay on board or jump ship. It’s up to us where we will be when the ship arrives.
Considering all the Prophets whose names we know from the Bible, have you ever thought about how many may have been called but refused? Or maybe they didn’t do as they were instructed so their names aren’t mentioned?
Silly question? I have been told that you cannot make an argument from nothing, but I can think of 2 prophets who we are told about and their names aren’t mentioned. Their story is in First Kings, 13:24 through 20:36. Why is this important? Because it shows that what God wants to accomplish, will be accomplished. If God’s first choice won’t do it, then His second choice will. Maybe His third, or fourth. And so, my question is, how many of the Prophets we know might not have been the first choice? What great deeds may the visiting Prophet have performed for God if he had listened and lived?
I don’t know. And (frankly) it doesn’t really matter. It won’t affect my salvation if I know that Elijah wasn’t the first choice, or if I am never aware of the the name of the man in Matthew 19:21 who was told to sell all his possessions so he could follow Yeshua. Imagine! Yeshua invited this man to follow Him! Yet, the man refused. Imagine what that person might have done, imagine what plans God could have had for that man! But, even though he was asked to join the crew, he refused. And so, the ship sailed without him and God’s Will was accomplished through others. .
Back to Moses- each of us can be like Moses. Maybe not as empowered by God’s Ruach, maybe not as encumbered by responsibility, certainly not as humble. But we can be as faithful to follow God. Yeah, yeah- Moshe was The Man! You may ask, “Who can be as faithful as him?” You can; I can; anyone who wants to be, CAN.
It’s hard, it’s going to make you stand out and be ostracized, and it’s not going to yield any worldly reward. But your reward in heaven will be great- that is God’s promise.
Be the GM of your life; help others to manage theirs, and remember to always let God lead.