Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 34 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Exodus 14 today and our focus is on leadership Moses-style. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal this year is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our new web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more – Click here for our reading plan!
Let’s open our main discussion with our verses of the day (sometimes I cheat, and have two verse of the day):
13 But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation that he will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again.14 The Lord will fight for you, and you must be quiet.” Exodus 14:13-14
Leadership is hard, and leadership can be very lonely. Moses did not ask to become a leader, but God made him one, and sent him on a critically important mission – to confront Pharaoh and help secure the release of God’s people from 400 years of slavery. So Moses, quite reluctantly I might add, goes and God accomplishes signs and wonders and shakes the entire nation of Egypt – ultimately forcing them to expunge the children of Israel from among them. But then Pharoah regrets this allowance, and sets out in pursuit of his slave labor force…which causes a chorus of complaints and second guesses and boos from the Hebrews towards Moses:
11 They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Isn’t this what we told you in Egypt: Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” Exodus 14:11-12
Ouch! You’ve gotta feel for our guy Moses here. He’s out minding his business one day in the desert, and sees a curious sight – a bush on fire that never actually is consumed. Curious, he turns aside and looks, and now he is the leader of hundreds of thousands of people in a journey across the desert. Hundreds of thousands of gripey people – with an elite army seeking to chase them down. Not a great spot to be a leader, by any means. So – how does Moses lead in this spot? What does he do? The answer to this question is important for every parent to understand – every pastor, every deacon, every mentor, every Sunday school teacher, or children’s church leader, counselor or anybody that helps younger/newer believers go forward. Moses displays a great deal of wisdom and maturity here. He does NOT direct the people to look to him for salvation – which would be the American sort of leadership approach. In the U.S. leaders are often lionized and take a football-player sort of mentality – they want to put their ‘team,’ whatever that team might be, on their back and carry them to victory. The truth is, however, that in most situations when you are leading the people of God, you simply CANNOT put the people on your back to lead them to victory. You aren’t strong enough, or wise enough, or clever enough or powerful enough. What could Moses do in this position against the most elite army in the world? Bupkis – absolutely nothing. (By the way, I looked up the word ‘bupkis,’ and it turns out to be a Hebrew word – maybe signifying goat droppings. In most cases – that’s about all a Christian leader can do in his own power – produce some goat droppings.) Moses, however, shows us the way forward – he calms the people he is leading, tells them to stand firm in faith, and then points them to the salvation of the Lord. He alone has the power to save. Brilliant leadership, Moses! THIS is how we lead, dear Christian leader. Point the people to God and His deliverance.
Let’s close with some rousing wisdom from pastor Tony Evans:
“See the salvation of the Lord.” The third thing he says is, pay close attention, to what God is doing. Why? Because when you’re in a dilemma, you’re focused on the sea, the army, or the wilderness, because they’re causing the dilemma. Or are they? You follow that? “Moses, we got a sea out here, you brought us in to die. Moses we got the army out here, you brought us here to die. Moses, we got the wilderness out here, you brought us here to die.” But we just learnt God sent them to the Red Sea, God told Pharaoh to go after them, and God told them back track into wilderness. You’re looking at the wrong thing.
He says, when you are boxed into a dilemma, don’t look at the things causing the dilemma, look to see what God is doing by creating it in the first place. Most of us spend out times in a dilemma, looking at the wrong stuff… because our attitude is why would God put me in a situation like this? Answer, because only in a situation like this, can you get to see what He wants to show you.
Tony Evans, “‘How to Solve a Dilemma,’” in Tony Evans Sermon Archive (Tony Evans, 2015), Ex 14:1–14.
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for FEBRUARY: Acts 9:31 So the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
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