Daily D – Numbers 16:4
When Moses heard this, he fell facedown.
NUMBERS 16:4 (CSB)
Kouzes and Posner wrote The Leadership Challenge. This is one of the best books on leadership written in the last generation. Among the excellent insights within these pages is the truth the title points toward: Leaders challenge the process.
When a new leader steps into a company or an organization, he or she looks at it with fresh eyes. Those fresh eyes see things that could be done better, more efficiently, more effectively. This is good, natural, and beneficial when done with the right attitude and approach.
Pirates, on the other hand, do not want to join the leadership team on a journey toward a mutually agreed upon destination. They want to take over the ship, use everything for their own desires, and leave everyone else dead or enslaved.
In Numbers 16 and 17, we see Moses and Aaron repeatedly challenged. It has only been a few chapters since Aaron and Miriam, Moses’ older siblings, rebelled against Moses. They thought they should hold more significant leadership positions. Go back to chapter 12 to see how that worked out.
It is in this context that we read, “Moses was a very humble man, more so than anyone on the face of the earth,” (12:3). If you are going to attack a leader, it is probably not the best course of action to attack the Most Humble Man Who Ever Lived.
Why was Moses so humble? The simple answer is that the closer you draw to God, the more time you spend in his presence, the more your own sinfulness becomes apparent to you. This is true because our Father in heaven is the definition of pure, the demonstration of holiness. There is no fault in him at all. His perfect love drives away all impurity we bring into his presence. (See Isaiah 6:1-8.)
Jim Collins in his book Good to Great talks about Level 5 leaders. These are the most effective CEOs and top-level leaders his team has examined. The defining characteristic of those leaders is humility. Wherever and whoever you lead, whether it is the person you see when you look in the mirror, a classroom, a courtroom, or a company, know that the more humble your heart, the more effective you will become.
How did Moses demonstrate humility in this chapter? Three times we read that he fell facedown (verses 4, 22, 45).
A question: When you are challenged, is this your first action?
When Moses fell facedown, what did he do? He prayed. He sought God’s wisdom for his next words and actions. He did not speak to others before he spoke to God. He did what God wanted to be done, not what he wanted to do. That is humility.
Moses interceded for those who were attempting to seize control. Look at verse 22: “God, God who gives breath to all, when one man sins, will you vent your wrath on the whole community?”
Leaders challenge the process. Pirates challenge leaders. Only one of these is noble and God-honoring.
If you want to find out what God thinks about pirates, read verses 25-40. Those men who declared, “I am the captain now,” ended up in an early grave. Do not allow pride to bury your leadership opportunities.
I will lead myself and others with humility.
Our Father, the closer I draw to you, the more sinful I see that I am. Please cleanse me, wash me, renew me, make me clean and pure. I want to lead myself and others with level five humility. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.