Handling a Leadership Crisis
Our reading for today: Exodus 5:1-7:25
My selection: Exodus 6:10-13
10 So the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the people of Israel go out of his land.” 12 But Moses said to the Lord, “Behold, the people of Israel have not listened to me. How then shall Pharaoh listen to me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?” 13 But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them a charge about the people of Israel and about Pharaoh king of Egypt: to bring the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
My reflections: Moses’ leadership crisis is complicated and difficult, but not unusual. He is commissioned by God and given clear directions and resources. This is on the positive side of the ledger. On the negative side, he cannot get the cooperation of Pharaoh and he is fast losing the support of the people of Israel. Furthermore, Moses sees himself as inadequate as a speaker.
What does he do? He must turn to the LORD for strength and reassurance.
We know from the rest of the story that the people will always be fickle and hard to lead. Pharaoh will not let them go, really. But the trials they are currently facing will forge the Israelites into a nation who will be willing to go. The plagues God will send to Egypt will cause Pharaoh to blink long enough for the people to get out of the land and get some distance.
My challenge: The Christian leader must not focus on his own inadequacy but on God’s purposes and power. Its not about you; its about God. His wisdom means He chooses the highest ends and the surest means for obtaining them. He changes people but, at least in this case, He did so through an unreasonable, paranoid king and the toughening impact of his severe policies on an enslaved people. There would be supernatural intervention, too, through the timing of the plagues. Meanwhile, the best thing Moses can do is keep his focus on the LORD. The same goes for you.
Tomorrow’s reading: Exodus 7:25-10:20