March 11: In the Moment of Weakness
Numbers 11–12; John 18:1–24; Psalm 11–12
All leaders have their moments of weakness. But without such times, they wouldn’t stretch themselves (and that would mean they weren’t really in God’s will). It’s not that these moments shouldn’t happen, but we should turn to God when they do.
Moses dealt with more than his fair share of people getting upset with his leadership, and he felt weak as a result. He didn’t always handle these situations correctly, but in Num 11 we see a glimpse of what an amazing leader he really was. The people were upset because they didn’t have meat to eat and were (once again) wishing they were back in Egypt. They were considering going against God’s will, and at least with their words, they were already doing so. Moses responded by telling God about his frustrations:
“Moses heard the people weeping according to their clans … Then Yahweh became very angry, and in the eyes of Moses it was bad. And Moses said to Yahweh, ‘Why have you brought trouble to your servant? Why have I not found favor in your eyes, that the burdens of all these people have been placed on me?… If this is how you are going to treat me, please kill me immediately if I find favor in your eyes, and do not let me see my misery’ ” (Num 11:10–11, 15).
God uses moments of weakness to create strength. He took the burden of leading off Moses alone and divided it among the people. In doing so, He made all the people accountable together for their actions (Num 11:16–23). God may have been angry about their disobedience, but that didn’t stop Him from listening to His servant, Moses, and graciously responding. God wants to interact the same way with us when we bring our burdens to Him.
In what ways are you feeling weak as a leader? What would God have you do?
JOHN D. BARRY
- When the people became murmurers, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it, therefore his wrath was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed the utmost part of the host. Then the people cried unto Moses: and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched. And he called the name of the place Taberah, because the fire of the Lord burnt among them. And a number of people that was among them, fell a lusting, and turned away, and the children of Israel also wept, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish which we did eat in Egypt for nought, the cucumbers, and the pepons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic. But now our soul is dried away, we can see nothing but this Manna. (The Manna also was as coriander seed, and his color like the color of bdellium. The people went about and gathered, and ground it in mills, or beat it in mortars, and baked it in a cauldron, and made cakes of it, and the taste of it was like unto the taste of fresh oil. And when the dew fell down upon the host in night, the Manna fell with it.) Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent, and the wrath of the Lord was grieviously kindled: also Moses was grieved. And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou vexed thy servant? and why have I not found favor in thy sight, seeing thou hast put the charge of all this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people? or have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom (as a nurse beareth the sucking child) unto the land, for the which thou swarest unto their fathers? Where shoud I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh that we may eat. I am not able to bear all this people alone, for it is too heavy for me. Therefore if thou deal thus with me, I pray thee, if I have found favor in thy sight, kill me, that I behold not my misery. Then the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the Elders of Israel, whom thou knowest, that they are the Elders of the people, and the governors of them, and bring them unto the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and let them stand there with thee. And I will come down, and talk with thee there, and take of the Spirit, which is upon thee, and put upon them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee: so thou shalt not bear it alone. Furthermore thou shalt say unto the people, Be sanctified against tomorrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for you have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for we were better in Egypt: therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. Ye shall not eat one day nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days, But a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and be loathsome unto you, because ye have contemned the Lord, which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we hither our of Egypt? And Moses said, Six hundred thousand footmen are there of the people, among whom I am: and thou sayest, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a month long. Shall the sheep and the beeves be slain for them to find them? either shall all the fish of the Sea be gathered together for them to suffice them? And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’s hand shortened? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee, or no. So Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered seventy men of the Elders of the people, and set them round about the Tabernacle. Then the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and tok the Spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy Ancient men: and when the Spirit rested upon them, then they prophesied, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the host: the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad, and the Spirit rested upon them, (for they were of them that were written, and went not out unto the Tabernace) and they prophesied in the host. And Joshua the son of Nun the servant of Moses one of his young men answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. But Moses sai dunto him, Enviest thou for my sake? yea, would God that all the Lord’s people were Prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them. And Moses returned into the host, he and the Elders of Israel. Then there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall upon the camp, a day’s journey on this side, and a day’s journey on the other side, round about the host, and they were about two cubits above the arth. Then the people arose, all that day, and all the night, and all the next day, and gathered the quails: he that gathered the least, gathered ten Homers full, and they spread them abroad for their use rounda bout the host. While the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewe, even the wrath of the Lord was kinded against the people, and the Lord smote the people with an exceeding great plague. So the name of the place was called Kibroth Hattaavah: for there they buried the people that fell a lusting. From Kibroth Hattaavah the people took their journey to Hazeroth, and abode at Hazeroth. Afterward Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses, beause of the woman of Ethiopia whom he had married (for he had married a woman of Ethiopia.) And they sai, What? hath the ord spoken but only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? and the Lord heard this. (But Moses was a very meek man above all the men that were upon the earth.) And by and by the Lord said unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, come out ye three unto the Tabernacle of the Congregation: and they three came forth. Then the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the Tabernacle and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forth. And he said, hear now my words, if there be a Prophet of the Lord among you, I will be known to him by a vision, and will speak unto him by dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house, Unto him will I speak mouth to mouth, and by vision, and not in dark words, but he shall see the similitude of the Lord. Wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, even against Moses? Thus the Lord was very angry with them, and departed. Also the cloud departed from the Tabernacle and behold, Miriam was leprous like snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. Then Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, which we have foolishly committed, and wherein we have sinned. Let her not, I pray thee, be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed, when he cometh out of his mother’s womb. Then Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, O God, I beseech thee, heal her now. And the Lord said unto Moses, If her father had spit in her face, should she not have been ashamed seven days? let her be shut out of the host seven days, and after she shall be received. So Miriam was shut out of the host seven days, and the people removed not, till Miriam was brought in again. Numbers 11–12
- When Jesus had spoken these things, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Kidron, where was a gardent, into the which he entere, and his disciples. And Judas which betrayed him knew also the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. Judas then, after he had received a band of men and officers of the high Priests, and of the Pharisees, came thither with lanterns and torches, and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all things that should come unto him, went forth and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said unto them, I am he. Now Judas also which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went away backwards, and fell to the ground. Then he asked them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I said unto you, that I am he: therefore if ye seek me, let these go their way. This was that the word might be fulfilled which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me, have I lost none. Then Simon Peter having a sword, drew it, and smote the high Priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. Now the servants name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: shall I not drink of the cup which my Father hath given me? Then the band and the captain, and the officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him. And led him away to Annas first (for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high Priest that same year.) And Caiaphas was he, that gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. Now Simon Peter followed Jesus, and another disciple, and that disciple was known of the high Priest: therefore he went in with Jesus into the hall of the high Priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out the other disciple which was known unto the high Pirest, and spake to her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. Then said the maid that kept the door, unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He said, I am not. And the servants and officers stood there, which had made a fire of coals: for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter also stood among them, and warmed himself. (The high Pirest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine, Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world: I ever taught in the Synagogue and in the Temple, whither the Jews resort continually, and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me what I said unto them: behold, they know what I said. When he had spoken these things, one of the officers which stood by, smote Jesus with his rod, saying, Answerest thou the high Priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have evil spoken, bear witness of the evil: but if I have well spoken, why smitest thou me? Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high Priest.) John 18:1–24
- In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye then to my soul, Flee to your mountain as a bird? For lo, the wicked bend their bow, and make ready their arrows upon the string, that they may secretly shoot at them which are upright in heart. For the foundations are cast down, what hath the righteous done? The Lord is in his holy palace; the Lord’s throne is in the heaven; his eyes will consier; his eyelids will try the children of men. The Lord will try the righteous; but the wicked, an him that loveth iniquity, doth his soul hate. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and stormy tempest; this is the portion of their cup. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness: his countenance oth behold the just. Help Lord, for there is not a godly man left: for the faithful are failed from among the children of men. They speak deceitfully every one with his neighbor, flattering with their lips, and speak with a double heart. The Lord cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Which have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own; who is Lord over us? Now for the oppression of the needy, and for the sighs of the poor, I will up, saith the Lord, and will set at liberty him, whom the wicked hath [snared]. The words of the Lord are pure words, as the silver, tried in a furnace of earth, fined sevenfold. Thou wilt keep them, O Lord; thou wilt preserve him from this generation forever. The wicked walk on every side; when they are exalted, it is a shame for the sons of men. Psalm 11–12