Numbers: a leader’s burden…

Cover to Cover

Reading: Numbers 10:11-13:33

Focus: Numbers 11:10-30

Being up the top can be hard. There’s a lot of weight carried upon the shoulders of the head-honchos. All the responsibility of decision making, keeping people happy, leading the way into a new era of success and growth… it isn’t easy. The pressure and stress can really get to you and you might just snap. Just that little something which you didn’t need, and it pushes you over the edge—you’ve had enough, you want out, you want it to end…!

Welcome to the life of Moses. Charged with the task of leading the people of Israel out from slavery in Egypt, establishing them as a nation with a heavenly constitution, acting as a judge, and principle spokesperson for God. At this point, the last thing he needed was to hear another complaint from the people… but it does, it comes in a form of a desire for meat. In the middle of this situation, Moses has had enough and he wants it all to end: “If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now—if I have found favour in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.

It is ironic that Moses finds himself in this position as his father-in-law had already given him advice on sharing his burden, delegating and appointing others to aid in his task. The significant difference here, however, is that God steps in and adds an extra aid. God commanded Moses to bring 70 elders before Him, where He would take a portion of the His Spirit upon Moses and delegate it among the elders. As a result, the elders prophesied as a symbol of God’s anointing upon them.

As church leaders in the 21st century, it is all fine and good for us to delegate our responsibility to others, as Jethro advised Moses (see Exodus 18:13-26). However, there is a further need for us as spiritual leaders to commit to God and seek God for others to share in our spiritual burden of pastoring and ministering to His flock. They may not be, by human standards, the obvious choice but rather they are the godly choice. Such selection of leaders requires prayer and guidance by God’s Holy Spirit. The fruit of spiritual delegation results in a new level of pastoral care, ministry and spiritual growth within God’s community—not to mention, a chance for leader’s to take a breath.

Next Reading: Numbers 14:1-16:35