But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
Moses was a great leader but the most reluctant to take up the leadership assignment. The anxious desire for leadership is a recipe for disaster. A degree of reluctance if not done in pretense could be a good sign and a promise of good leadership. Moses several times avoided the work he was being given and for the fifth time, he told God to find someone else. Please send someone else!
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
The first rejection of God’s assignment, Moses tells God that he is not fit. Moses asks God, who am I that you give me such an assignment? God knew Moses was equal to the task, but Moses doubted himself. Moses was not full of himself. Moses was not bragging about how he can lead. Moses was not flashing his resume. Moses felt inadequate. That feeling of inadequacy makes great leaders be humble. That feeling of inadequacy makes great leaders willing to learn even from their juniors.
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
Second rejection of God’s assignment, Moses tells God that Israelites may ask a difficult question that he can’t answer. They may ask for God’s name and he doesn’t know. Moses saw further ahead to challenges he could meet as a leader. Moses didn’t want to get in and fail, so he pointed out a potential point of failure. That focus on success will help one prepare to deal with any obstacles. Great leaders foresee obstacles. If you are a leader, do you foresee any obstacles in your work in the near future? Moses foresaw obstacles and dealt with them.
Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”
Third rejection of God’s assignment, Moses tells God that Israelites may not believe and may question his mission. Another sign of a good leader is that he/she sees obstacles and starts addressing them before they come. Moses is aware that they may not believe him. Leaders should be optimistic because they have foreseen all obstacles and prepared for them. Leaders who are optimistic but have not prepared for possible obstacles are a disaster waiting to happen.
Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
Fourth rejection of God’s assignment, Moses tells God that he is not eloquent and he is a stammerer. Many people would never acknowledge that they are not eloquent. It takes courage to see and acknowledge your weaknesses. A leader who knows their weaknesses will get people who complement him/her. Not people who just say yes to everything or just remain silent without opinion. Moses knew his major and minor weaknesses and he knew if not addressed it will cause failure. Do you as a leader have weaknesses you can acknowledge publicly and openly?
The fifth rejection of God’s assignment is in our text today. Moses tells God to just send someone else. Moses felt others were better than him. A leader who knows and acknowledges that others are better than him/her will work well with everybody. Such a leader will give others a chance and will not feel threatened by the excellence of those under him/her. Moses considered others better than him. If others are better than you, you do not cling to power. You do not insist to stay. You easily let go of power because others are better than you. You accept any position including a low position because you know and believe that others are better than you. In that spirit, Moses offered such a prestigious unforgettable job to someone else. Please send someone else!
In Numbers 12:3 we are told that Moses was very humble, more humble than anyone else. Moses led 600,000 Israelite men out of Egypt, Exodus 12:37. If each man had one wife that would make 1,200,000 people. If each couple had one child that would be 1,800,000 people. Plus their livestock and property. Moses led such a huge group of people in humility. Why are we arrogant with almost no one under us? Why are we arrogant in leading a congregation of less than a hundred people? Why are we arrogant when having one or two workers in our homes? A leader of two million people was humble, very humble, most humble in the whole world.
Humble means he was approachable. Humble means he did not insist on his way. Humble means he could be questioned. Humble means he could allow the opinions of others to carry the day. Humble means he respected the young and old. Humble means nobody felt intimidated around him. Humble means he allowed God to guide him. Moses was so humble that he was willing to let anyone have his job. Please send someone else!
In Numbers 12:7-8 God praises Moses. God is proud of Moses. A good leader seeks approval from God. A good leader is good because God is empowering him/her. A good leader is good because of God. A good leader has a good relationship with God. Moses did not relate with God for personal interest. He was willing to jeopardize personal interest for the good of God’s work and therefore told God to choose someone else. Please send someone else!
King Saul the first king of Israel was a reluctant leader, 1 Samuel 9:21 and 1 Samuel 10:21-22. From King Saul, we learn that reluctance is not everything but it is a good beginning. The attitude that caused reluctance at the beginning of leadership should be sustained throughout the leadership. King Saul did not sustain it and he failed in his leadership. Leaders must know that you can begin well and end terribly. A good beginning doesn’t guarantee a good end, you can mess up in-between. Throughout leadership, you must be willing to surrender leadership if it is for the good of the work. Please send someone else!
Jonah the prophet was not reluctant, he refused to take up God’s work, Jonah 1:3 and Jonah 4:2. There is a difference between reluctance as you seek assurance that God is with you or sending you, and refusal to totally do God’s will. Once we are clear that God is sending us, we should serve by faith. We should not refuse to serve God. But while serving maintain the same attitude of not desiring power for its own sake. Be willing throughout your leadership to let others lead in your place. Please send someone else!
Jeremiah was a reluctant prophet. When he was convinced of God’s will he went in to serve, Jeremiah 1:6. Reluctance is from a good attitude that must be sustained throughout the leadership. Please send someone else!
Dear God, if I must lead, make me a good leader throughout my life. May I not begin well and end poorly. May I not force my way into leadership. May I be willing always to let others lead. Make me a great leader in Jesus’ name, Amen!
NEW SERIES ALERT! The good news is that we have finished the series throughout the Bible on Chapter seven of the Bible books. We are beginning a new journey throughout the Bible by studying Chapter four of each Bible book. Through this method, we go through each Bible book three to four times a year. Welcome and be blessed!