SELECTING A LEADER
Date: February 25
"Choose wise, understanding, experienced, and respected men according to your tribes, and I will make them heads over you. And you answered me, The thing which you have spoken is good for us to do. So I took the heads of your tribes, wise, experienced, and respected men, and made them heads over you, commanders of thousands, and hundreds, and fifties, and tens, and officers according to your tribes."
There was a time when Moses felt that the burden and responsibility of leading the people was too much for him. So he told the Israelites to select some men to become leaders. But it's interesting to notice the criteria that Moses lays out in terms of selecting a good leader.
In both verses 13 and 15, Moses repeated four specific character traits that are needed in a good leader. These are the same traits we should look for when selecting our own leaders, and these are the same traits we should possess if we want to be a leader ourselves.
First, Moses says that a leader should be wise. In Hebrew, that means to understand godly wisdom. A person with wisdom is one who will get the job done in a godly manner. He is someone who honors God and does what he needs to do to complete his job the way God wants it completed.
Then Moses says that a leader should have understanding. In the Hebrew, that word means someone who distinguishes between two things, between good and bad. That's the person who has understanding. It's someone who acquires knowledge. Without understanding, a person cannot be a leader.
Thirdly, a leader should have experience. You wouldn't just promote a child into a leadership role. That would be foolish. A leader should have experience in leadership and know what he's supposed to do and how to do it.
Then this passage says that a leader should be respected. That means that a leader should be someone who people think highly of, who people honor and respect. Being well respected is very important. That's why employers ask for references before they hire you. It is because they want to know if you are a respected individual, and they judge whether or not you are from your past experiences.
So those are the four characteristics of a good leader: wise, understanding, experienced, and respected. When it comes to selecting a leader, we shouldn't just pick anybody. If you aspire to be a leader, these are just some of the qualities that you need to have in order to become a good leader. It doesn't matter how big of a group you're leading, you still need to have these qualities.
But you cannot lead if you have not learned to follow. Officers are commanders, but they also have to listen to the supreme commander. In this case, the supreme commander was Moses. Later on, we read that it became Joshua. And that supreme commander who is above everybody else is under God. So to be a good leader, you have to be a good follower. So the four qualities that are required for good leadership are qualities of inner strength. If you have them in a strong measure, you will have a larger group to lead.