7 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Numbers 14
Psalms 50
Isaiah 3-4
Hebrews 11

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will these people despise me? How long will they not trust in me despite all the signs I have performed among them? I will strike them with a plague and destroy them. Then I will make you into a greater and mightier nation than they are.’”
Numbers 14:11-12 (CSB)

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

The words that appear in our verses for today are what came from God’s mouth. He was talking to Moses and expressed frustration that after all He had done for the Israelites, they still didn’t respect Him or trust Him. So, the Lord expressed His frustration and anger by saying that He was prepared to give the people exactly what their sinful actions deserved.

Numbers 14:11-12 (CSB): “The Lord said to Moses, ‘How long will these people despise me? How long will they not trust in me despite all the signs I have performed among them? I will strike them with a plague and destroy them. Then I will make you into a greater and mightier nation than they are.’”

Those who are in leadership are capable of feeling these sentiments as well. After they consider all they have done for the people they are leading, including personal sacrifices on behalf of those they lead, they might grow frustrated and angry if their people don’t act like they respect or trust them … just like the Lord in Numbers 14:11-12.

True leadership is hard. Anyone can step into a leadership position but I’m talking about someone who actually leads. Their love and sense of responsibility for the organization and for the people they are leading tends to cause them to do whatever they can for the benefit and flourishing of those under their care. They sometimes make personal sacrifices. Sometimes, they take pain upon themselves as they make excellent but unpopular decisions.

Yet, when a leader considers what he has done for the benefit of the organization and those under his leadership, it is doubly painful when there are people who express disrespect for him and make it clear that they don’t trust him.

To be sure, there are people in leadership positions who really shouldn’t be there. They don’t know how to lead, or they have unresolved personal issues that cause them to lead badly, or they lead solely for their own benefit. There are a multitude of reasons why some people shouldn’t be leaders.

But, for the one who leads at least reasonably well, how are Christians to respond to that leadership? Listen to how church members are to respond to the leadership of their pastors (as a specific instance of a general principle)…

Hebrews 13:17 (CSB): “Obey your leaders and submit to them, since they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

Folks, these are difficult times. Leaders at the national, state, and local levels are leading through scenarios that they could have never dreamed of just a couple of months ago. Folks who are leading businesses that were forced to close and pastors who are leading their churches via livestream are in uncharted territory.

So, pray for them. Give them the benefit of the doubt. If they make a wrong decision, speak with them privately if you can. Otherwise, follow their leadership. We’re all in this together and we really need folks working together to simply survive and to potentially come out of this better than we went in.

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Lord Jesus, I pray for the leaders who are making tough decisions. I pray that You would give them wisdom. I pray that You would enable them to make good decision. Help me to respect and trust them and follow their leadership where I can. May You bring us out of this mess better than when we entered. Amen.

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Photo by Yehyun Sung on Unsplash