To put it plainly, there was a time when Moses couldn’t lead anyone out of a wet paper bag. He was an ineffective liberator. Yes, he tried…but failed spectacularly. You may be asking, “Is this the Moses who brought down the plagues on Egypt and destruction on Pharaoh’s household and freed a nation of slaves?” Well sort of…consider the following.
Exodus 2:11-12 tells us that Moses saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, “one of his brethren,” and he “struck down the Egyptian.” In Acts 7:25, Stephen says that Moses “supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not.” Moses had to flee to the desert due to his failed deliverance. Again, in Numbers 20:8-12, Moses made such a mistake in leading God’s people that he himself was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. How is it that Moses could perform God’s amazing wonders at times, and yet fall so short at other times?
The fine line between successful leadership and failure is our willingness to follow the Lord’s direction. When Moses chose to liberate his brethren without a word from the Lord, it ended in trouble. But when God told him to liberate the people, it ended in miraculous freedom. When Moses chose to strike the rock in anger rather than speaking to it as God commanded, it ended in Moses not entering the Promised Land. But when he asked God to see the land, God granted his request – in his life (Deuteronomy 34:1-4) and eternally (Luke 9:28-36).
Today, we don’t speak with God the way Moses did, but our conversations are just as meaningful. When we act on our own will and try to liberate ourselves and others based on our own timelines and opinions, we fail just as Moses did. But if we will follow God’s word and God’s timing, we can be free and help free others from the bondage of sin. There is only one, true freedom from slavery today, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Whose will do you follow today – God’s or your own?