Reading: Exodus 17:1-7
The Israelites have Moses as their leader. He was sent by God to free the people from slavery in Egypt and to lead them to the Promised Land. Through the signs and wonders it is clear that God is with Moses. As the people begin this journey, the memories of slavery are surely still in their minds. Yet they grumble and complain pretty guickly against Moses when their needs are not met. They are free, yes, but they have been promised a new homeland. They envision arriving, not being tested out in the desert.
Initially, Moses was a very reluctant leader. In fact, he tried to talk God out of choosing him. But Moses did accept the position and has been a good leader. He has grown into the position and has worn the title well. Even though Moses’ patience is tried now and then by the people, he functions well as their leader. He deals with the daily decisions, hears the daily cases and complaints, and continues to lead. So it is natural for the people to go to Moses when there is no water to drink. When the people have a vision for the Promised Land, it is hard to die of thirst out in the desert.
Moses, as leader and intermediary to God, intercedes on the people’s behalf. God responds to the people’s needs by making water flow from the Rock at Horeb. God provides and Moses continues to lead.
Almost all of us are leaders. For some it is with our families, for some it is at our jobs, for some it is on our teams, for some it is where we volunteer, for some it is in our circle of friends. As leaders, we try and set the example and try to lead in a way that brings honor and glory to God. And at times, like with Moses, the ‘people’ will complain or grumble to us as the leader. May we each follow Moses’ example, hearing the people and then going to God for the solution. We can choose to lead by following God’s voice and direction, or we can try to lead on our own. Things worked out pretty good for Moses. May we also choose to lead wherever we are planted with God out in front.