Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The humility of Moses
This year I’ve been reading through the Old Testament. It involves reading about two to three chapters a day. So far I’ve been able to keep up on the reading. Doing this type of reading involves quick reading and doesn’t allow time for more detailed study.
This week I was stopped right in my tracks as I read through Numbers. Yes, I know that Numbers isn’t known as the most scintillating book of Scripture in the Old Testament. In my reading this week I’ve become captivated by Moses’ response to all of the criticism he received as he led the Israelites through the wilderness. In particular I was touched by the verse in Numbers 12:3 where Moses was described as the most humble person on the face of the earth. The verse in the NRSV reads: “Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth.”
It’s remarkable that Moses could be so humble given the pressures he had endured. His own brother, Aaron, and sister, Miriam were questioning his leadership. In fact they were criticizing Moses for marrying a non-Israelite. Moses also had to endure consistently the complaining of the Israelites as they expressed their desire to go back to Egypt.
Many of us in the north Metro have challenging work situations. I’m guessing we have times when we would like to yell or perhaps scream at our boss and/or employees. I would encourage all of us to remember Moses. He was able to stay humble despite tremendous pressures and responsibilities.
Staying humble doesn’t mean we sacrifice our own beliefs or ideas; staying humble doesn’t turn us into a patsy whom our aggressive co-workers can roll over. We can stay firm in our convictions. But we can do it in humility.
What is one quality that all of us would like from our political leader? I’m guessing humility would rate close to the top of the list.
May Moses be our example today of how to negotiate with humility the tricky world of 2011.