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The Cloud of Witnesses

Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible



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Lesson 4: Moses – How To Be A Wise Leader Of Men!


Exodus 17:1-16.

You are never too mature to seek God’s wisdom

We’ve moved on and so has Moses! He had tried to ‘get out of’ doing the job God wanted him to do. He had experienced the fury of Pharaoh. He had seen the incredible miracles God had performed over the land and people of Egypt. He had experienced the awesome power of a prayer-answering God. He had seen the description-defying deliverance of the Hebrews from Egypt. He had endured the waywardness and rebellious nature of the people he was sent to rescue. He had witnessed the supernatural provision of the ‘Manna’ and the quails.

He had grown up in his relationship with God. He could claim that He knew God and the ways of God. He could justifiably feel that he was the leader of the people of Israel and he was answerable to no one. He knew how God worked and what He wanted – he no longer needed advice or counsel. He was a grown man of God.

Here in Chapter 17 of Exodus, we find two totally different incidents in the journeys of the people of Israel. In the first, we have the people moaning and grumbling, yet again over a lack of water. Moses asked God what to do and He said, “Strike the rock” and water flowed out in abundance.

In the second, the Amalekites came and attacked the people. This time instead of ‘action’, Moses passively stood with his hands held high ‘praying’. Yes, Moses interceded for the people on both occasions. In the first, his response was to strike the rock; in the second his response was to stand with his hands outstretched to God. (Albeit Joshua led the army into battle.)

We so often want to put God in a box, don’t we? God did it that way before; He will do it again the same way. As we grow in our walk with the Lord, it is easy to become overconfident in our abilities or our ministry.

Moses would say to us today...

Never take God for granted. Always seek His face before making any decisions and always follow His guidance. (Particularly if you are a leader of people.) If you don’t know what to do – wait for God to speak or make His way plain. You stand to be disappointed if you go it alone! Maturity in Christ brings humility, patience and peace!


Father, I long to ‘grow up’ and mature in my Christian walk with You. Please help me remember that to do so I have to stop putting You in a box and expecting You to do things my way. Help me by Your Holy Spirit to become more and more sensitive to Your will and Your ways and then give me the courage to follow them out. I ask it in Jesus’ Name and for His glory. Amen.

Additional readings

Colossians 2; Hebrews 6:1-8; 2 Peter 1:3-11.


How do we ‘grow up’ in Christ?

What are you doing to make sure you are?

What plans have you made to make sure you continue to grow this year?

To whom are you spiritually accountable this year?

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Sold Out For Jesus and Ring of Truth – daily devotionals by John White
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