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This Morning in the Word: Bold Followers, Bold Leaders and Clear Vision

March 21, 2011

Bold followers, Bold leaders and Clear vision   

Numbers 32

A couple of the tribes of Israel have an idea that would be of benefit to them and they don’t think the leaders have considered it, so they go to their leaders to request a change of plans. (v 1-5)

  • ·        NOTE: The leaders are approachable; the people are acknowledging the leaders who have been placed by God.

 

The request will improve the situation of these people and bring more assurance that their families will be well cared for. (v 1, 16)

  • ·        NOTE: The leaders care about the welfare of the people; they want them to live in a place of sweet “shalom.”

 

The first response of the leaders is to remind the people that they are part of a wider covenant community and their actions impact others. (v 7, 15)

  • ·        NOTE: The leaders hold the health and welfare of Community as a high priority.

 

The leaders remind the people of their collective history, which has taught them what God desires – wholehearted followers. (v 12) And they point the people towards the protective parameters set by the Ultimate Ruler, God Almighty.

  • ·        NOTE: The leaders are watchful of and fiercely pursue God’s agenda for His people, not their own.

 

The leaders are bold when they see what seems to be a reoccurrence of a historic rebellion, which will lead others away from what God has directed. (v 14)

  • ·        NOTE: The leaders give no quarter to political alliances or personal status positions; they align themselves to be shoulder-to-shoulder with the Most High and His commands.

 

The people respond with grace and strength when confronted with Truth. (It is unclear whether they had just not considered the effect of their request on others, or if they were misunderstood by the leaders, never having any intention of neglecting their community responsibilities.) (v 17)

  • ·        NOTE: The people are willing to go with their covenant family into battle. AND they are willing to place themselves in the forefront of the coming struggle, the most dangerous of places, in order to secure an inheritance for someone else’s benefit.

 

The leaders are willing to hear the clarifying response of the people. (v 16, 20) They are willing to be shown a wider perspective than they had first seen.  They are willing to consider another perspective – all the while they hold fast to the directives they have received from God.

  • ·        NOTE: The leaders listen, adjust, but never compromise, never dilute what they know to be God’s call.

 

 

Summary statement of the followers:

Your servants will do what the Lord has said.” (v 31)

 

Summary statement of the leaders:

If you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.  … do what you have promised. (v 23)

 

This intense encounter between leaders and people came to a strong and edifying conclusion because:

both the leaders and the followers had a mutual commitment to following God’s commands and advancing His agenda, for His glory,

 AND

they all had a commitment to one another and the collective group.

 

 

Clear Vision + Bold Leaders; Bold Followers = Healthy Covenant Community

 

 

LESSONS to CONSIDER:

Leaders must have far vision (to maintain a clear perspective of who God is and what God requires) in alignment with near vision (to be watchful for and considerate of the people in their care).

 

Followers must have near vision (to watch for and cooperate with the decisions made by godly leaders) in alignment with far vision (to maintain a clear perspective of who God is and what God requires).

 

 

Thank you, Lord, for Your selflessness and Your patient concern and care toward me.

Thank you, Lord, for the godly, focused leaders You have placed in my life.

May it be that Your church is marked by Bold Leaders and Bold Followers, both focused on Your law and Your grace so that …

All mankind will fear;

They will proclaim the work of God

and ponder what He has done.

Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord

and take refuge in Him;

Let all the upright in heart praise Him! (Ps. 64)

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