Reading about a lot of power struggles taking place in Moses life as his leadership is challenged. First person on the scene is Miriam. She takes a shot at Moses’ wife when really that was just a stepping stone to see if she had enough support to go right after Moses. She seemed to have it and she did alongside Aaron.
And they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it. – Numbers 12:2 ESV
There have been some other notable power situations – Saul’s paranoid fear of David, the disciples arguing who among them was the greatest, even Simon Magnus known infamously for trying to purchase the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Power can destroy or create. The power that destroys demands ascendancy; it demands total control. It destroys relationships; it destroys trust; it destroys dialogue; it destroys integrity.” – Richard Foster
The struggles seem to come from those unwilling to move forward to what God has called them to be. As a disciple of Jesus that can be threatening to my call. Not willing to be more like Jesus gives me only one option for the truth is, if I am not going forward in my relationship with Him, I am going backwards to what I used to be.
Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” – Numbers 14:1-4 ESV
It is safe to say that when I was younger it was much easier to do this for no other reason that when I am now older, the past has a weird way of looking better than the future. That is unless I look at the future through the lens of the kingdom of God and not based on what I see through my earthly eyes.
I was reading a post – How Israel Complaining 14 Times Mirrors Your Christian Journey and they came up with a few points from Numbers 12-14 too.
They mentioned that the test of leadership is not only in knowing the importance of following God but following His delegated leaders. Since our path of discipleship can be humanly difficult, it may cause people to go back to their old life because they cannot find a way to depend on God. Worse is when these band together to “vote out” their spiritual leader hoping another will take an easier road, maybe even more prosperous.
Paul hits this on the head. There is no other life other than the one with God – He gives us everything we need to live for Him.
For “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ – Acts 17:28 ESV
If I am still tempted to be a person of power where I find myself crossing the line between authority and abuse of that same authority, there is an antidote. The antidote for power is prayer. Spending each and every day in a special time with God developing my conversational skill in talking and listening to Him.
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire[c] in his temple. – Psalm 27:4 ESV