Moses: The Great
Moses faced one of the greatest
leadership challenges of all time. He took an undisciplined collection
of slaves and faced the task of making them into a great nation. This
column discusses the leadership challenge; the next tells the result.
Then the following three columns will each tell a characteristic of
Moses that allowed him to succeed; he was (1) a prototype of visionary
leadership, (2) a personification of exemplary character and (3) a
proficient master at implementing change.
Hundreds of years before the birth of
Moses, Jacob and his Hebrew family escaped famine in their homeland and
settled in Egypt where Jacob’s long lost son, Joseph, was Prime
Minister. Initial relations with the Egyptians were harmonious, but
eventually Jacob’s descendents became slaves to the Egyptians. By the
time Moses was born, things were so bad that Pharaoh ordered all newborn
male Hebrew children to be killed; for Pharaoh feared at some point the
Hebrew men might align themselves with the enemies of the Egyptians. The
baby, Moses, escaped when his mother hid him along the Nile where he was
discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter who adopted him and raised him with the
splendor and privilege of a prince.
At forty years of age, and aware of his
Hebraic origin, Moses impulsively killed an Egyptian taskmaster who was
brutally beating a Hebrew slave; then to escape punishment, Moses fled
to the desert and become a shepherd. Forty years later, while tending
flocks in the wilderness of Sinai, Moses received the “burning bush”
revelation that God had chosen him to liberate his people. Moses and his
brother, Aaron, returned to Egypt where they persuaded the Hebrews to
leave the land of bondage and informed Pharaoh that God demanded freedom
for His people. Pharaoh’s refusal was met with a series of ten plagues
after which he allowed the people to leave.
Next month we will consider Moses: The
Great Nation Builder.