Oh to Have These Kinds of Leaders!

Posted on August 6, 2021

10


By David Ettinger

Overwhelming Situation
Moses was overwhelmed!

The nation of Israel had recently been emancipated from Egyptian bondage and was at the beginning of their wilderness wanderings. Moses was their leader, and he was way in over his head: “… Moses sat to judge the people [listening to their disputes], and the people stood before Moses from the morning until evening” (Exodus 18:13).

We can only how imagine how physically and mentally exhausting this was for poor Moses! This was likely happening six days a week (the Sabbath excluded), and must have driven him crazy!

Fortunately, Moses’ father-in-law Jethro had come to visit him, and he didn’t like what he saw. He told his beleaguered son-in-law: “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone as judge and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?” (v. 14).

Moses responded unsatisfactorily, and Jethro countered: “The thing that you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone” (vv. 17-18).

So true, Jethro!

Sanctified Council
It’s one thing to evaluate a situation – as Jethro so accurately did – but it’s another to offer a solution for it. Fortunately, Jethro was up for the task and delivered this gem of sanctified council:

… you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that they will bring to you every major matter, but they will judge every minor matter themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will carry the burden with you (vv. 21-22).

Fortunately, Moses was wise enough to heed his father-in-law’s advice, and his life became far less cluttered!

Oh for Such Leaders!
Notice the qualities Jethro recommended Israel’s leader possess. They are found in verse 21, and it is well worth reading again: “… you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.”

I can’t help thinking: Can you imagine what the world would like today if every nation had such leaders? Can you imagine what nations would look like if every leader was “able”? Can you imagine what nations would like if every leader feared God? Can you imagine what every nation would like if their leaders were men and women of truth and hated dishonest gain?

The answer is “no.” We cannot imagine what the world would like, because this is not what leaders look like. Sure, there are handfuls of individuals in leadership who fit the bill, but for the most part, the world’s leaders are men and women who are not able, do not fear God, do not love truth, and have no problem with dishonest gain.

Here in the U.S., our leaders do not even come close to possessing the qualities Jethro so eloquently described. If you live outside the U.S., you can say the same for your leaders. It is a sad truth to digest, but as grown-ups, we know the world we live in, and we know what our leaders are like. They are, in a nutshell, nothing resembling Exodus 18:21.

The Time is Coming
However, there is a time coming – which you can read about in Isaiah 11 – where peace will be the norm, and the leadership, beginning with the Lord Jesus and working downward, will be filled with integrity, honesty, goodness, benevolence, and fear of the Lord.

That time will be the Millennial Kingdom – the 1,000-year kingdom (Revelation 20:1-6) – where Jesus will rule a reconstituted Planet Earth, and those whom He appoints as leaders to legislate the Kingdom will indeed be “able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain.”

For now, such leadership is but a pipe dream, but sometime soon it will become a reality. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back, and He will usher in His glorious Kingdom. Until then, however, let all who bow the knee to our great Lord and Savior be found faithful in doing His bidding!