Reading God's Word in chronological order is really quite fascinating. In Numbers 13 and 14 Moses, by God's direction and instruction, sent the spies into Canaan to scout out the land. God promised the land to the Israelites. But, Israel refused to go into Canaan because there were giants in the land (simplification), and they began to talk about getting another leader—replacing Moses so they could go back to Egypt and slavery.
God judged Israel for their unbelief and disobedience by declaring they would wander in the desert for forty years—one year for every day the spies scouted out the land of Canaan. He also proclaimed that every man over twenty would die in the desert and not be allowed to enter the Promised Land because they had “complained” against the LORD. Joshua and Caleb alone would escape the penalty as they believed God and encouraged the people to act as God said.
In chapter 15, God instructed Moses on the laws regarding offerings, how to handle a violation of the Sabbath, and putting "remembrance tassels" on the corners of their clothing.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Psalm 90 is inserted. It is a Prayer of Moses about the Eternal God and mortal man. In the midst of the heat of a leadership battle, Moses, whom God called the "most humble man on earth" (Numbers 12), stopped to pray, recognize God's sovereignty, ask for wise hearts, compassion and God's favor.
As I pondered all of these things, it occurred to me that what I was seeing was an instruction manual for great leadership. To be honest, I have never before considered the first books of the Bible a leadership manual. But God has allowed me to uncover four rules for effective leadership in these pages:
1. Seek God first
2. Obey God always
3. Trust God forever
4. Leave the consequences to God
It is not like I did not already know and believe these things. But, just as God instructed the Israelites in Numbers 15 to put “tassels of remembrance” on their clothing, I believe we are wise when we put our own tassels of remembrance. My kitchen window, my refrigerator, my bathroom mirror, and the top of my desk all contain some “tassels”. I’m sure you can say the same. Most of us have quotes about the greatness of God and Scriptures we want to remember strewn across our homes, our purses and even our lawns.
Today we live in a country where there are more and more “giants in the land”. But we need not fear because our God has given His marching orders for this time. So, let us not wander in the wilderness. Let us be like Joshua and Caleb—willing to take the land because God said “Go ye…” Be blessed today, follow the rules of effective leadership, and don’t forget to look up.