“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” – Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Moses has been described by some as the reluctant leader. When the angel of the Lord appeared to him and he was given the task to finally lead the Israelis out of bondage in Egypt, he protested. “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3: 11). Knowing how the script played out we can be kind to him and say that his reluctance was based on a premonition how difficult the job that awaited him would turn out.
Once he set out, as a leader, it was constantly dragging a restless people, quick to find him at fault, and frustrate his job. When who once he delayed on the mountain, while seeking the face of God, they were quick to throw him out. “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him” (Exodus 32:1).
Aware of the challenges he faced, when the time came for Moses to pass on the baton to his successor, Joshua, he knew that that most important gift he could pass on to him was encouragement. “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Exodus 31:7-8).
It has been said that it is lonely being at the top. When God gives us leaders, let us never hesitate to remember them in our prayers, especially where theirs is a special job of leading a restless people on to higher knowledge and experience of God.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I remember all the leaders you have chosen to lead your people to a deeper knowledge of you, that you refresh them with your abundant Holy spirit, especially when going through the valley, where they might feel lonely and discouraged, but through your spirit of joy and purpose, they may be encouraged and remain steadfast; this I pray in Jesus’s name!