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Oct. 2010 - Moses: The Great Nation Builder

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October 2010

Moses: The Great Nation Builder

Dr. John KlineLast month we discussed Moses’ great leadership challenge. This month we consider the result. Moses’ immediate goal was Mt. Sinai—the site of the “burning bush” revelation. The Hebrew children came to the sacred mountain, fired by the inspiration of their prophetic leader. Here Moses climbed the mountain and received the Ten Commandments only to descend and find the people deep in disobedience and sin. In anger he threw the stone tablets containing the Commandments to the ground and broke them. Later he again ascended the mountain and descended with tablets containing the Ten Commandments.

The next 40 years would be a challenge to this man who was perhaps the greatest leader the world had yet known. In summing up these tough years, someone said, “While it only took about 40 hours for Israel to get out of Egypt, it took 40 years to get Egypt out of Israel.”

The people murmured, grumbled and complained things had been better in Egypt. At Kadesh-Barnea, Moses sent out twelve men to spy on the Promised Land; ten returned terrified by the giants in the land; only two (Joshua and Caleb) recommended taking the land. The people rallied around the ten. Rather than entering the Promised Land, they wandered 40 years in the wilderness. Joshua and Caleb lived and would eventually enter the land.

Here is a fact often overlooked: during this wilderness time a nation was made. Through the 40 years in the Wilderness, Moses overcame tremendous obstacles and shaped a horde of former slaves into a nation—a nation set apart for a divine purpose and consecrated to a high ethical and moral law which regulated the social and religious life of the people. And before he died, Moses climbed the mountain, viewed the Land and passed responsibility of leadership to his successor, Joshua, whom he had been mentoring and preparing for the task to enter the land.

Next month we look at one of three great leadership lessons we can learn from Moses. He was a prototype of visionary leadership.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

Oct. 2010 - Moses: The Great Nation Builder
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