Monday, April 12, 2010

Thoughts on Deuteronomy 1

In Deuteronomy 1-4, Moses recounts important episodes in the wilderness.  Chapter 1 is a look back at the disobedience at Kadesh-barnea resulting in the forty-year limbo between the exit from Egypt and entry into Canaan.  That momentous faux pas needed to be reinforced as an example of what not to do when entering the land this time.

What piqued my curiosity in this passage was Moses' insertion of elder selection back at Sinai.  Why mention it?  I think he wanted to make the definite point that the sin and consequence of previous non-entry was a direct result of the recognized leaders and not Moses or Aaron.  They had only themselves to blame.

Who were the spies? The leaders
Who gave a bad report? The leaders, save two
Who discouraged the people? The leaders
Who attempted to go into Canaan without the Lord? The leaders

Spiritual leadership is accountable for those they shepherd.  At whatever functional level the leader operates, he must be operating in accord with the God's revealed commands and precepts.  To do otherwise puts both the leader and the follower(s) at risk.  Something to remember then:

1 Peter 5:1-4
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

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