Spirit & Truth # 268
“Mo & Co.”
By Greg Smith
Has God called you to be a leader in your church, in your workplace, or in your home? Believers need look no further than Moses for a great example of what it takes to be a leader. Moses was a spiritual and political adept whose contributions continue throughout Judaism and Christianity to this day. His influence affects not only adherents of those two religions, but through them he continues to shape the world. Though famous for his sagacity, Moses was not a genius all by himself. He enjoyed the benefit of a company of advisors, both from his own generation and the generation above him.
Moses’ mother Jochebed exercised great faith in placing him in the care of Pharaoh’s daughter by way of a floating cradle.[i] The Egyptian princess who raised him surely provided him with the finest of tutors, in addition to all the advantages afforded to a prince of Egypt. Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro Ruel of Midian, offered astute advice concerning the administration of justice in Israelite court cases.[ii] While Moses’ insight into the divine surely came from heaven above, his worldly wisdom was a gift from loving people one generation above him.
|Moses, Aaron, and Miriam|
Good leaders need to listen to the wisdom gleaned from their elders. They also avail themselves of the counsel of peers. Moses’ wife Zipporah saved his life with her quick thinking at least once,[iii] and certainly proved that “behind every good man is a good woman.” As a young child, his sister Miriam was the agent by whom Jochebed became her own son’s wet nurse.[iv] As a grown woman, Miriam the prophetess led the Israelites in worship,[v] and offered Moses advice (whether he wanted it or not).[vi] Moses’ brother Aaron served as the stuttering prophet’s spokesman,[vii] and later became the high priest of Israel,[viii] helping his brother Moses turn Hebrew tradition into an established religion. The three siblings worked so closely together that there was little divide between where the work of one ended, and the work of another began.
Leaders need advice from those who have been around the block a few more times than they have. They also should listen to input from their peers. But leaders are nothing without the people they lead. As Jesus called His disciples to make other disciples,[ix] so He expects all believers to pass on the wisdom He has given them. Moses was a mentor to Joshua and Caleb, who carried on his work long after he was gone.[x] In turn, these young disciples assumed the mantle of leadership and passed on their knowledge to the generation beneath them.
If God has called you to be a leader, then remember the resources He has given you. You don’t have to go it alone. Receive help from those who have already blazed the trail. Prayerfully consider the opinions of your peers. Pass on God’s truth to those who follow you. And the wisdom-giver “will be with you always, even to the end of the age.”[xi]