Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim range and see the land I have given the Israelites. After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes."…Moses said to the Lord, “May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” — Numbers 27:12-17
Moses surrendered prominence in the kingdom of Egypt. Eventually, that prominence was replaced with leadership in the nation of Israel.
Faithfully, year in and year out, Moses led his people. First he carried them through the dramatic events in Egypt, where plagues and pressure finally forced Pharaoh to relent and let the Israelites leave. Faithfully, he led them across the Red Sea with an enemy army on his heels. Faithfully, he led them through forty years in the wilderness, brought about not by his leadership inadequacies, but by the faithlessness of the people themselves.
That would have been the final straw for most of us. After all, why should we suffer the consequences of someone else’s failings? Though Moses likely had no other options, we often do, and we exercise those options because life looks easier or more attractive someplace else.
Workplace Christians can learn a lot from Moses, from the importance of delegating to how to be loyal even to a rebellious people. Today, though, we want to focus on one aspect of Moses’ style: his concern for the group when he’s gone. After all those years of service, after all those acts of faithlessness by Israel, after all the resulting years of wandering, here Moses stands (in the Scripture passage above) at the edge of the Promised Land–and is reminded that he can’t go in. Worse, it’s an act of disobedience on his part that prevents him from going in.
So what does Moses do? Whine about God's action? Badger, plead or rant for what would seem to be his right to finish the journey with his people? Ignore them and focus on what's next for him? No. His heart is for his people. He asks the Lord to provide someone to tend the organization after he’s gone; to not only tend it, but protect it.
When we leave a job or a company, is that how we’re thinking? Or are we indifferent to the impact on the people and organization we're leaving? Are we focused on what we can do to facilitate the transition or on what the company or our coworkers did to us, or didn’t do for us? Do we want to “punish” them for some injustice, hoping to gain some measure of revenge?
Even in the worst of circumstances, like outright dismissal, our demeanor can be a powerful testimony to the effects of Jesus Christ in our lives, proof to our coworkers of another life changed by Him. In striving to leave them with the understanding that we walked the second mile, even in the face of difficult circumstances, they will know of the Savior’s impact on us, and on our work.
And in praying for them, we leave them in better Hands than ours.
Written by Randy Kilgore, Senior Writer and Workplace Chaplain for Desired Haven Ministries. Used by permission. Content distributed by WorkLife.org > Used for non-profit teaching purposes only.