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Why then were you not afraid?

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Why then were you not afraid?

Respect for our leaders

The Bible has a lot to say about respect for our leaders. The Apostle Paul was very clear about this: ‘Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.’ (Rom. 13:1-2) The role of leaders is to maintain order and thus protect us from evil. Thus when the Apostle Paul says to Titus, ‘Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient,’ (Titus 3:1) his call is not to be obedient to the whims of men, but to the role of authority.

Why then were you not afraid?

‘Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?’ (Num. 12:8) It is a question from God to people, not the other way round. The Lord is chastising Miriam and Aaron. ‘Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. ‘Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?’ they asked. ‘Hasn’t he also spoken through us?’ And the LORD heard this.’ (Num. 12:1-2) The enemy nudged Moses’ brother and sister and they began to speak against him. They did not approve of Moses’ wife, but it seems that the Lord did not have a problem with her! The Lord challenges them about their lack of respect, but first He points out to them something about Moses’ position: ‘When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD.’ (Num. 12:6-8). The Lord was saying, look at what happens with Moses. He’s not like an ordinary prophet of mine; he has a special position with me whereby we communicate face to face. The Lord’s subsequent response was to bring public disgrace to Miriam (Num. 12:9-15) who initiated this rebellion against Moses. There is a general principle in Scripture that is very powerful: when God brings someone into leadership, it is dangerous to raise a hand against him or her. We see this principle being worked out, not only in the case of Moses, but years later in the case of David and Saul.

Obey your leaders

‘Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.’ (Heb. 13:17) We are to respect the authority that leaders have and realize that they are accountable to God. God will deal with unruly leaders. Our response, if we have a problem with a leader, is to take it to the Lord. It is not to rise up against that leader.

Leadership can be a burden in the Kingdom of God. Spiritual leaders are the first in line for attacks from the enemy, and the person rising up against God’s leader, is simply becoming a tool in the hand of the enemy. We must leave them in God’s hands. This is what Miriam and Aaron should have learnt. Ultimately it is a basic question of belief. Do we believe the Lord can deal with those in spiritual authority? If we simply don’t like the way our leader is leading, then our response is to go and talk it through with the Lord first, and then perhaps graciously share our concerns with that person in leadership.

Dr. Czeslaw Bassara ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;

James N. Spurgeon wrote:

'A job is at your choice; a ministry is at Christ's call. In a job you expect to receive; in a ministry you expect to give. In a job you give something to get something; in a ministry you return something that has already been given to you. A job depends on your abilities; a ministry depends on your availability to God. A job done well brings you praise; a ministry done well brings honour to Christ.'

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