In my earlier post I wrote about Moses at Meribah and how he failed to follow God’s instruction. As a result, God forbade him to lead the people to the Promised Land. However, that was not the end of the matter for Moses. The issue arises again in the book of Deuteronomy, and Moses only compounds his error.
In 1:37, Moses said, “Even with me the Lord was angry on your account, and said, ‘You shall not go in there.’” (ESV) In 3:23-28, Moses asked God to allow him to enter the Promised Land. God response was basically, “Don’t bring this up again. Joshua will lead them.” Why? Moses said in verse 26, “But the Lord was angry with me because of you….” (ESV) Moses says the same thing in 4:21.
God had told Moses that he could not enter the Promised Land because of his disobedience and failure to trust God to reveal His holiness. However, on three occasions, Moses did not take personal responsibility. Instead, he pointed at the people and said, “God was mad at me because of you.”
Any leader can understand Moses frustration with the people. And just about any leader has done the same thing. However, any leader fails when he starts to blame his own personal shortcomings on the people that he leads. Moses compounded his first sin by failing to take personal responsibility for it. The best thing a leader can do when he sins or just makes a mistake is to own it and confess it, before the people he leads if necessary. As husbands, as parents, as teachers and church leaders, we will make mistakes and even sin. The best thing is not to follow making mistakes with making excuses. Own it. Confess it. Learn from it.