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A Fresh Look at the Leadership of Moses for 2015

By Dr. Anthony Ang (I.B.I. Dean)

The IBI is about digging into God’s Word. If you are not disciplined in studying God’s Word, you might want to consider IBI as a way to help you know God’s Word. I urge you to enroll in IBI. There are several reasons you should do so. But I will give you one here.

The IBI trains you to dig into God’s Word. In studying God’s Word, you will learn to hear God’s voice. The following is an example. I was looking at Num. 20:1-13 and was comparing it with Exodus 3-4. It was through this study of God’s word that I experienced God speaking to me. In the two passages, I was examining the beginning and ending of the life of Moses.

Moses was unwilling in the beginning. You cannot blame him. Who would think of beginning a fresh career at the age of 80? Thus understandably in Exodus 3-4, he gave God several objections about going to Egypt. No prize for guessing that God prevailed upon Moses to go.

But that beginning was important for Moses who had to be sure. He had to be sure that that encounter with God was real. Why? Because telling people how you come to do what you have to do because of talking to a burning bush is the surest way of getting yourself admitted to an asylum.

Fast-forward forty years later to the scene in Num. 20:1-13. Moses was at the ending of his life’s work. He had just buried his beloved sister, Miriam (Num. 20:1). Israel had no water in the hot desert of Zin. Naturally, the people were angry and hit out at Moses and Aaron (Num. 20:2-5). Moses took the matter to the Higher Up (Num. 20:6). Now, is that not what we should do with people complaining about us? What do you do when an intractable problem come crushing down upon you? Do you pray or gripe, procrastinate or protest?

What did God tell Moses to do (Num. 20:8)? This time God told him to talk to a Rock! (Num. 20:8). Ugh! Imagine, you being told to talk to a rock.

I am experienced in talking to a Rock – my wife. She is like a rock, dependable, faithful, responsible and reliable. Of course, others may call that trait, stubbornness. Guess that qualifies me in part for Christian leadership.

However, Moses’ case was different. He was literally told to talk to a rock. My reaction, if I were Moses, would be:

Me: “God, please give me a break; what will the people think if they see me talking to a rock?”

Poor Anthony, he got rocks in his head (“nabuang na siya”).

Now, actually, Moses was told to do 4 simple things:

  1. Take the staff with him.
  2. Bring Aaron along.
  • Assemble the people together in front of the rock.
  1. Speak to the rock and it will pour out its water (think what divine technology is that when today’s scientists are able to extract oil from another kind of rock, shale).

Moses did the following:

  1. Moses had the staff with him.
  2. He had Aaron with him.
  • He assembled the people in front the Rock and began to scold them!
  1. He struck the Rock twice instead of speaking to it! I guess on the first strike no water came out and so Moses struck it a second time.

God in His grace allowed the water to come out of the Rock. He gave face to Moses. But both Moses and Aaron face judgment. Because of disobedience they were not allowed to enter the Promised Land. Aaron’s death is mentioned later in the same chapter (Num. 20:22-26). Imagine how Moses must have felt, the depths of his grief, the pain and tearful regrets. Losing two siblings within a year was a blow worse than Haiyan and Hagupit.

Out of 4 simple tasks Moses faithfully carried out 2, and disobeyed in the third and fourth tasks. Half obedience is disobedience.

Talking with a burning bush or to a rock is not easy for Christian Leadership. Wise Isaiah reminded us of God’s higher ways and thoughts (Isa. 55:7-9). Therefore, a basic fundamental of Christian leadership is careful listening to God and unconditional obedience to Him. That will be my NEW YEAR resolution for 2015. What’s yours? As you seek to exercise Christian leadership in your home or at work, how attentive and obedient will you be? How will you show that you have been attentive and obedient to God? Attentive and obedient students do well in schools. Imagine the amazing spiritual impact created by Christians who listened and obeyed – surely, its Gloria in Excelsis Deo.

If you would like to know more on how you and your church can benefit by starting a Bible Education Program in your church through I.B.I. (International Bible Institute of London). Please call us at Telephone No.: (+63 32) 262 7455 or send us an email: [email protected]