Ever so often people acknowledge Moses as one of the most striking and radical leaders who ever lived. His legacy was an interesting one that had many challenges and opportunities which allowed him to experience the direct manifestation of God’s power. This morning I was pondering Moses’ life and his bravery even in the face of adversity. Here he was in Exodus 3 (NIV) tending his father-in-law’s flock when the angel of God appeared to him. God allowed a bush to be engulfed with flames of fire – yet the bush was not burning as we would normally expect. Reading through Exodus 3, we see God revealing to Moses some exciting news – news that would cause the Israelites to rejoice! God told Moses that He had heard the cry of the Israelites and was about to rescue them from their slave drivers and their suffering.
One of the many qualities that made Moses such a striking and radical leader was his unwavering obedience. Quality obedience is always built on a foundation of bravery. I am certain that some would read Exodus 4:1-9 (NIV) and think that God should have really confirmed His power by using simpler signs that were less dramatic and less risky. Some might even think that the second sign should have been used first to get Moses acclimatized to the power of God. However, Moses was a man who was courageous and his courageousness allowed him to stand up when he needed to stand up and to obey when God required obedience. Imagine having a rod in your hand and being told to throw it to the ground and as you throw your rod on the ground it turns into a serpent. Our natural reaction would be run from it just as Moses did in Exodus 4:3 (NIV). But although Moses’ reflexes caused him to flee the serpent. When God said to him, “Reach out and take it by the tail” – Moses obeyed (Exodus 4:4 NIV).
We know that snakes/serpents have a reputation to be poisonous, very agile/quick, and can squeeze their prey to death. In fact the constricting coils of a snake/serpent can cause cardiac arrest, asphyxiation and even spinal fracture. Compliments: “http://animals.pawnation.com/strong-coils-boa-constrictor-6639.html” – we understand that “One of the few studies of constriction pressure, led by Brad R. Moon and Rita S. Mehta who published their results in the 2007 book, “Biology of Boas and Pythons,” tested the constricting pressure of several species, including boa constrictors. The highest constricting pressure recorded by the team, 25 pounds per square inch, was generated by a boa constrictor that was about 7 feet in total length. The primary variable in constriction pressure is the thickness of the snake; doubling the diameter of a snake increases its constriction pressure by a factor of 2.6.”
Moses was brave, courageous and had deep trust in God to obey when God said to pick up the serpent even though it might have crossed his mind that a snake held by its tail could turn and bite him without a moments notice. Moses’ faith, bravery and confidence in God grew all through his leadership of the Israelite community. His faith grew fast and powerful because he placed himself subject to God’s leading and had a right estimate of who he was in relation to God and those around him. His tremendous humility was even endorsed by God himself – “3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) – Numbers 12:3 (NIV)”.
Another important aspect of Moses’ leadership was his unselfish love and attitude towards the people God had entrusted in his care. Moses was brave enough to tell God that he would rather die in the place of the stubborn Israelites. Moses was not even present when the Israelites chose to become corrupt by building and worshiping the Golden Calf of Exodus 32. However, What a love! that Moses had developed for those he was leading to the promised land! In Exodus 32:30-32 we read that:
“30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
31 So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”
Paul in Hebrews leaves us with a golden summary of some of the highlights of Moses – a man led by God who excelled in leadership and strength:
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
May God bless you today as you strive to continue learning new truths about excellent leadership and as you lead out positively for Jesus Christ in whatever sphere of influence you find yourself!