The book of Exodus is a great guide for leaders. Nehemiah may be filled with more leadership principles, but Exodus shows well the difficulty of leading and loving sinful people. If you have ever heard God’s direction and been bitten by the sheep you’ve been called to lead, Exodus is the book for you.
Exodus shows us a story of God’s providence, not only in the actual rescue of the Hebrews, but even in the birth, preservation, royal upbringing of Moses. God so orchestrated the events of Moses’ life to prepare him for the monumental task that lay ahead of him. The hand of God was on Moses as he brought him into a priest’s home for training and as he called him from a burning bush. But, the hand of God on Moses did not preserve Moses from difficulties. Moses knew what it was like to be hated and to run for his life. Moses knew what it was like to be mocked for his beliefs, and perhaps most heart-breaking, Moses learned that God’s people would even rise up against the leader that God had provided to give them life.
Pastor, spend time in Exodus. Learn from Moses’ ministry and rely on Moses’ God.
Exodus 5 recounts the response of Pharaoh to Moses’ initial request. As Moses worked to honor God and care for his people, their lives got worse instead of better and the people blamed Moses.
As a pastor, I’m confident that you have known dark hours where you have served the Lord with passion, prayed for your people, and worked to see them set free from their bondage only to have them turn on you. You have known the dark nights of the soul when you have been labeled the enemy only because you were fighting on behalf of your people. Perhaps you are even there today.
Do not despair. You are not the first nor last of God’s servants who will be derided for caring Christ’s sheep. You are not the first nor last who will be bitten by the flock as they allow the wolf to move among their ranks. You are not the first nor last who will be abused because your people do not recognize the real enemy of their souls.
Do not despair, take hope. Moses found himself in a dark place. He made promises on behalf of God that had not yet been fulfilled and the people were suffering because of his work on their behalf. He cried out to the Lord, “Why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me?” Perhaps you are there today, but take hope because God has not left.
God’s response to Moses is the promise you can claim for yourself today, “Now you shall see what I will do.” Pastor, do you feel beat down and abused, do you feel utterly useless and unable to do your job and fulfill your calling? You have just found yourself in a great situation for God to use you.
George Mueller once said, “Faith begins when man’s power ends.” When you are at your wits end and on your last leg, trust in Christ, depend on God, and then, “you shall see what he will do.”