The Leadership of Moses, pt9
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Moses was not afraid to teach people about the consequences of sin. In many churches, the emphasis on sin is that God forgives your sin. That is a wonderful truth, but there are consequences, even to forgiven sin. If you rob a bank and you ask God to forgive you, He will, but you are probably going to go to jail. Sin has consequences.
One of the reasons that sin has consequences is that God hates what destroys us. He wants to illustrate what destroys us so we will stop doing it and others will take notice. If sin did not have consequences, if there was no outward manifestation of what sin choices were doing to people on the inside it would encourage them to keep on sinning.
A good leader not only teaches about the consequences of sin, he also points them out.
Translated to the business realm, a good leader teaches about the consequences of not following protocol or procedure or not handling customer service, maintenance, or people right. A good leader calls attention to that—“This is why this didn’t work. This is why we lost that account. This is why we got that nasty email or a bad review.” They don’t just point out what was wrong, but why it was wrong and how it affected people.
In the morning, however, they rose up early and went up to the ridge of the hill country, saying, “Here we are; we have indeed sinned, but we will go up to the place which the Lord has promised.”
Moses had just finished reading a spiritual riot act to them—“You have rebelled against God. God is not going to deliver you from this set of enemies. You have sinned, and there is a consequence for your sin.” They acknowledged that they did sin, but they were going to go on as if they hadn’t sinned. They were going to go ahead, and go to the land that God had promised them.
How many people do you know, or maybe this applies to your own life, who know there is a promise out there from God, but there is also sin, compromise, or disobedience--and yet they still press ahead, claiming the promise, and acting as if nothing happened? Rather, they should say, “I drove the car off the road. I have to get a tow truck to get the car back on the road, and then I can proceed to do business with God.”
But Moses said, “Why then are you transgressing the commandment of the Lord, when it will not succeed?
Moses was very honest: “You know what you are doing is wrong, and yet you keep pressing on as if God is going to ignore your sin.”
One of the crises we have in the Church today is we have a bunch of Spirit-filled believers who have somehow seduced grace, hijacking what grace really is, who believe that God is winking at their sin and will act as if it never happened. That is not true. God hates sin. God hates the consequences of sin. God loves to forgive sin. But sin still has consequences. If you gamble your money away, the consequence is that you won’t be able to pay your bills. God will not hold that thing against you, but you have put yourself in a position where you must get back on track.
Do not go up, or you will be struck down before your enemies, for the Lord is not among you.
In other words, there is sin in your life. You may have the greatest intentions, you may be believing for the right thing, you may know that is what God wants for you, but when you have sin that you have not dealt with, truly unrepentant sin, (1) that won’t work, and (2) when you have repented, there could be natural consequences. You rob a bank, you go to jail. God will forgive you. God will brag on you. God will give you favor in jail. But the sheriff probably won’t forgive the consequences of your sin.
Moses is telling them that they cannot proceed because they have sinned and have not made it right.
But they went up heedlessly to the ridge of the hill country; neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses left the camp.
The presence of God did not leave the camp. The leader that God had appointed over them did not leave the camp. If you are going to face a consequence, I would not leave the camp without the leader God has appointed in your life or without the presence of the Lord.
Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down, and struck them and beat them down as far as Hormah.
Moses continually called people out who were sinning. He had a God-breathed righteousness streak in him.
The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty…
That is a picture of forgiveness. If grace is what we say grace is, and if grace delivers and heals, the lack of grace does not deliver and heal. God will by no means pardon the guilty, the disobedient, the rebellious. If God were to do that, He would have to turn His back on the cross and on grace and forgiveness through Jesus. God is not going to turn His back on Jesus. He is not going to do it another way. Only when you are truly forgiven at the foot of the cross do you stand any chance of having the consequences of that sin wiped out by the mercy and sovereign intervention of God.
Getting forgivenness and reclaiming your right standing with God is different than getting your right standing with man and circumstances. It doesn’t mean you are cursed. It does mean that if you lost trust, you’ll have to earn back trust. If you lost money, you’ll have to earn back money. If you lost a disciple, you’ll have to earn back a disciple.
Moses preached clearly against sin and the reality of its consequences. A righteous leader is going to call people out when they speak of the negative circumstances they are in by pointing out when those circumstances are the consequence of sin. If you don’t talk about the depth and power of sin, then the cross is really just a sentimental figure and not a life-saving reality.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!