“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (I Thessalonians 5:11).
The saying it is lonely being at the top can be an understatement. Perhaps for a glimpse one could look at Moses’s troubles while leading a restless nation through the wilderness. At one point Moses took in a wife from a foreign nation, a practice long frowned upon by the Israelites. Given this custom the disquiet could be expected. For those in the crowd this was another opportunity to further agitate against Moses whom they had already accused of bad leadership.
However, there were those closer to Moses, like his siblings Aron and Miriam who could have acted differently. Instead they began to spearhead the attack. “Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite” (Numbers 12: 1). Using this as an opportunity to vent their simmering opposition, they went further, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” (vv 2).
This is the kind of talk that could lead to a mutiny, further complicating Moses’s leadership challenges. The Lord took note of it. He came out and rebuked Aaron and Miriam, quite strongly. “Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” (vv 8). Miriam was struck with terrible leprosy and Moses had to plead for her sake. The Lord replied, “Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back” (vv 14-15).
Perhaps you may wonder at this rather harsh rebuke. As leaders Aaron and Miriam could have used their influence to bring to the attention of Moses a concern. Rather, they opted for a smear campaign, which was not helpful. More than anything they overlooked the fact that what Moses needed was a pat on the back, not another pull him down talk, especially from those most close to him. That wild talk must have hurt.
Leaders are not perfect and of course they do error every once in a while. There are those of us who are close to certain leaders and it should be incumbent upon us to take them into confidence and bring to their attention once we notice a matter of concern, they might have overlooked. Wild corridor- talk only causes leaders grief, on top of their other many burdens. It also makes our motives suspect.
And if we do not have that access, why not choose to pray! It can do more good than reckless criticism.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray for leaders you have chosen amongst us and to be an encourager to them other than pull them down with hurtful talk, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.