Moses’ leadership almost didn’t happen.

You remember his story, don’t you? He was conceived during an ethnic genocide against male babies (Exodus 1). If the leaders of his day had their way, Moses would never have seen his first birthday.

I won’t go into the details of Moses’ journey to leadership, but suffice it to say, Moses was an unlikely leader (you can read about it in Exodus 3 & 4). Moses simply didn’t want the job. But he became the leader because it was God’s plan for him to be the leader.

As Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land, he had to deal with complaints. A lot of complaining. Think about the last long trip you took with children and then multiply their protestations of being hot, hungry or having to go to the bathroom by 10,000. Then we just start to see the grumbling that Moses had to endure.


The Israelites complained about not having meat, they accused Moses of setting himself up to rule over them unfairly, and they even tried to stone Moses! (Numbers 11-16). As bad as your last minivan trip was, I doubt anyone attempted an assassination.

The point here is not that leaders should expect complaints. Moses’ response to complainers is the point. Routinely, Moses’s first response was to fall on his face before the Lord rather than defend himself (Numbers 11:2; 14:5; 16:4, 15; 20:6). That’s godly leadership.

So, what is your first response when people complain about you or the decisions you make? Is it to get defensive or is it to pray for them?

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