But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
9 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.”
When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”
I am sure that Moses was quite excited as he shares with the Lord the people’s response to His most gracious offer was “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.” We then see the Lord share with Moses the next steps:
- The Lord told Moses that He would make certain the people understood that Moses was hearing from the Lord and trust his leadership. “I will come to you in a thick cloud, Moses, so the people themselves can hear me when I speak with you. Then they will always trust you (verse 9).” I am blessed that this is God’s work and not man’s. Many leaders could learn from God’s faithfulness to Moses as a leader. The walk of faith includes trusting God to do this and not try to do it ourselves by lording over people and becoming controlling. Faith allows leaders to trust God in His gifting within the entire body without fear of losing our leadership. “All these [gifts] are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as He determines (1 Corinthians 12:11).” When the people would rise up against Moses along this wilderness journey, the Lord handled it. We can expect no less today. God always calls His people, leader or not, to walk by faith and not fear.
- “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow…
- “…have them wash their clothing.”
- “Mark off a boundary all around the mountain. Warn the people, ‘Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even touch its boundaries. Anyone who touches the mountain will certainly be put to death.”
- “Get ready for the third day, and until then abstain from having sexual intercourse.”
The image is one of preparing to meet with the holy and righteous God. The holy God plans to make His presence known and make covenant with a sinful, rebellious people. Despite being chosen by God, for these people to approach Him in some type haphazard, presumptuous way would cause death.
The Old Testament reveals to us the God whose eyes are too pure to see evil and look upon wrong (Habbakkuk 1:13). But here He is ready to make covenant with sinful man and it is His love that provides them a leader and instruction that protects them from rushing into His presence and therefore, death.
This gives us a selah opportunity because as believers in Christ we know that this was a shadow or picture of what, or better yet, Who was to come. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” His Name is Jesus and He opened a new and better way into the presence of the Living God (Hebrews 10:1-25).
12 But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. 13 He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after He says:
16 This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws on their hearts and write them on their minds, 17 He adds: I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts. 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Praise God, instead of saying stay back, because of the blood of Jesus we are now invited to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).” The Lord promises when we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Praise His Holy Name! We don’t deserve this relationship any more than the Israelites did. It is all because of His ‘so’ love poured out in grace and mercy that we can proclaim
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
SELAH and give God praise, honor, and glory!
15 Moses replied to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I make a decision between one man and another. I teach them God’s statutes and laws.” 17 “What you’re doing is not good,” Moses’ father-in-law said to him. 18 “You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you. You can’t do it alone. 19 Now listen to me; I will give you some advice, and God be with you. You be the one to represent the people before God and bring their cases to Him. 20 Instruct them about the statutes and laws, and teach them the way to live and what they must do. 21 But you should select from all the people able men, God-fearing, trustworthy, and hating bribes. Place them over the people as commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. 22 They should judge the people at all times. Then they can bring you every important case but judge every minor case themselves. In this way you will lighten your load, and they will bear it with you. 23 If you do this, and God so directs you, you will be able to endure, and also all these people will be able to go home satisfied.” 24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. Exodus 18:15..23
So…you are called to be a leader of God’s people. God uses Jethro to give us some key points of leadership. I won’t take much time but I pray that you will take some ‘selah’ time and examine yourself before the Lord.
- Teach the “God’s statutes and laws,” not your opinions. Just lovingly and gently put your finger on the Word…and teach, what God has to say is far more important than your opinions. It is His Word that brings life, not ours UNLESS our words are His Word. 🙂
- Represent the people before God and bring their cases to Him. This is called prayer, pray for those you lead. I believe this is more that one big swoop, bless them, Lord prayer. We are to bring their specific cases before the Lord.
- “Teach them the way to live and what they must do.” Please note that in verse 2o, instructing the people about the statues and laws is followed by the word “and.”
It is one thing to know a Bible verse and another to know how to practically apply that verse to one’s life. Leaders are called to teach both, with words and action.
- Leaders should be people who are “able, God-fearing, trustworthy, and hating bribes.”
- Verse 23 – don’t leave God out and go it alone. First, discern that God is in fact leading you and then keep Him as your Leader. It is easy to begin with God and then plow ahead and leave Him behind. When we allow God to lead us, we find that He provides everything we need to carry our our assignments to His glory, lead the people for His glory, and endure while witnessing His glory along the journey. Both the leader and people will find their satisfaction in the Lord. There is no sweeter place to be!
- Be able to listen and accept counsel and do all God leads you to do as He sends and uses others give you His wisdom. There is not even a glimmer of Moses being offended or declaring his own importance or knowledge. He listened, received, and moved on a due word in due season to establish the system that God was putting in place.
Selah, pause and ponder and pray!
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and it is a great day to allow the Lord to continue to minister to our hearts in regards to leadership. He is our Leader and may the Scriptures and quotes below bring encouragement, instruction, and correction. Great is our God and greatly to be praised! Please leave a comment if so inspired by the Lord!
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:3-8
But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28
We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9 For you remember our labor and hardship, brothers. Working night and day so that we would not burden any of you, we preached God’s gospel to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how devoutly, righteously, and blamelessly we conducted ourselves with you believers. 11 As you know, like a father with his own children, 12 we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:8-12
So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
Not to us, LORD, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1
Then Jesus said to all of them, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. Luke 9:23-24