Hey You Guys
This day and age it’s so popular for everyone to want to be a boss but how do you manage it? Here’s the scripture we’ll be using today:
And Moses said to the Lord, “Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people? Did I give birth to them? Did I bring them into the world? Why did you tell me to carry them in my arms like a mother carries a nursing baby? How can I carry them to the land you swore to give their ancestors? Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep whining to me, saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ -Numbers 11:11-13
Think about the burden placed on Moses. How was he supposed to handle the weight of thousands of complaints? He wasn’t. God never called us to do His will on our own. Even in Exodus 18, Moses received advice from his father in law, Jethro. Here’s what he said:
Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves. -Exodus 18:17-26
Just because God gave Moses the vision, it didn’t mean he had to carry it out himself. Now in Numbers, here is God’s reply to Moses: Please remember that Exodus is before Numbers; therefore, Jethro gave this advice before God and God’s advice sounds reminiscent to Jethro’s, in that he needed to spread the wealth.
The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone. -Numbers 11:16-17
It’s called delegation and more people should learn about it. Delegation is a strategy.
As you can see, when you learn to delegate properly you entrust others with a task or responsibility and it keeps you from being overwhelmed. This means that you have trusted people that are authorized for the work. It does not mean you leave these people without a lifeline. It does mean you don’t micromanage.
There was no way Moses could hear from God, rescue the people, be the judge and jury, lead these people to the Promised Land and teach them the ways of God. It was too much and not only that the people were never satisfied or even appreciative. They apparently wanted Moses to hunt and cook for them as well; often complaining about what they didn’t have. I understand Moses’ position. Complaints just frustrate everyone but solutions answer the issues. He needed solutions.
When we take on too much we run the risk of not only being overwhelmed, possibly becoming unenthusiastic about the work but also becoming God to people. Even at Mt. Sinai, they didn’t realize that God brought them out. They couldn’t have, because God wanted Israel as a whole to be His priest but the people choose Moses alone to be their representative. But then again, I’m not sure if that’s the case here. These people were enslaved for
400 430 years; they didn’t know their God but they were very familiar with the Egyptian gods. They were aware of their power and that long under their control they assimilated. They didn’t know God yet. They cried out to Him but likely thought He would never save them. So when Moses went up the mountain, they went back to the gods they knew.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death. They are to be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain.” -Exodus 19:10-13
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. -Exodus 20:18-21
As you see, there were restrictions but God wanted a relationship with His people and was going to come down to His people but they got scared and instead of approaching the mountain after the ram’s horn sounded, as planned, they decided they didn’t even want to speak to Him and stayed in the distance. Remember, these were people who in the same chapter told Moses that they will do whatever the Lord says, consecrated themselves to Him and then heard that no other God’s should be worshipped but because Moses took too long decided to do just that, and went back to the gods they knew.
Moses’ biggest problem was that he allowed these people to get him into compromising positions of anger such as when he broke the tablets after finding the people celebrating other gods. This often caused him to be inconvenienced even the more resulting in him having go back up the mountain to get another set of tablets for the 10 Commandments. Because his anger issues went unchecked, the people’s complaints caused him to miss out on the Promised Land when he smote the rock twice opposed to speaking to it as the Lord instructed.
Bottomline, people can drive you crazy; if you let them. Moses let them and it caused him to miss out on his destiny. In order for your vision to be fulfilled you need people, so toss the idea of getting rid of them. Here’s some tips that we can learn from Moses:
- Seek Wisdom and Follow It
- Communicate Effectively
- Implement Strategy and stick to it
- No Mircomanaging
- Check Emotions
- Manage Expectations
- Understand Your Own Limits
- Don’t Compromise
I hope this helps you as you set up the infrastructure of your empire. Use Moses’ example of what and what not to do. What things do you believe made Moses a great leader and how could he have avoided the mistakes? Let me know in the comments section.