Surrounded by complainers how did he have a different spirit? How did he thrive in his journey through the wilderness? Think about the pressure he shouldered.
Exodus 12:37 tells us 600,000 men, 20 years and above, came out of Egypt, not including women and children. That was well over 2 million people. While Moses was a bold, visionary leader, with a gift of writing, he struggled at first with administration. At one point all 2 million had direct access and brought him their concerns from morning until evening. On a visit, his father-in-law Jethro noticed the strain and pressure and said, “What you are doing is not good…You will wear yourself out…The work is too heavy. You can not handle it alone.” (Exodus 18:17-18) Moses listened to his advice and established a healthy structure and team. Still, he found himself separated from his family, which made life difficult for his wife Zipporah.
There was constant pressure inside the home at out. There was the pain of feeling rejected by the people he was giving his life to lead. Nothing was ever good enough. Sometimes their complaints turned to open rebellion. On several occasions, the people he had empowered rose up against him and tried to appoint a new leader to take them back to Egypt. Even his own family betrayed him. His sister Mariam, and brother Aaron tried to foment rebellion by asking the people, “Has God only spoken through Moses?” Talk about a toxic work environment. This struggle went on and on for forty years. Who would ever want this job?
But Moses never walked away from his post. He faithfully led God’s people to the Promised Land. Still more, somehow he found time to write the Pentateuch. He developed Israel’s legal system, formed the basis of Hebrew culture, implemented God’s pattern for worship, and oversaw the building of the tabernacle. He also successfully handed the reins of leadership to his protege, Joshua. Had God not called him home, Moses would have charged into Canaan. Deuteronomy 34:7 tells us, “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.”
What was the secret to his resilience through the wilderness? In Dottie Rambo’s song I Go to the Rock, each verse starts with a series of questions.
Where do I go when there’s nobody else to turn to?
Who do I turn to when nobody wants to listen?
Who do I lean on when there’s no foundation stable?
Where do I hide til the storms have all passed over?
Who do I run to when the winds of sorrow threaten?
Is there a refuge in times of tribulation?
Those are great questions to ask ourselves. We all turn and run to different things looking for relief and refuge.
Where did Moses find his strength?
Moses had a powerful, personal, conversational relationship with God.