Numbers- Session 3- Godly Leadership- Resources

Session 3 – Godly Leadership

Numbers 20:1-13

Numbers Session 3

Numbers Session 3 Handout

Numbers Session 3 Powepoint

Subject: Leadership

Central Theme: Godly Leadership

Objective Statement: We can exhibit godly leadership by observing 4 truths that leaders must acknowledge.


Keyword: Truths



  • In the next couple of weeks many people will be traveling for the holidays.
  • One of my favorite apps when I travel is an app called i-Exit.
  • I love it because while you’re traveling the app recognizes by GPS where you are on the road and which direction you are traveling.
  • Once you do that it shows you a list of the upcoming exits, and what is at those exists for gas, shopping, food, and lodging.
  • The phone numbers of each of those establishments are listed. Even the price of gas at each gas station shows up.  It’s really cool.
  • We are so blessed to be able to get into our vehicles that have air conditioning and entertainment systems and drive at 75 miles an hour down the road.
  • Trips that took our great-great grandparents weeks or months to make with much hardship takes us just a few hours.
  • A couple of albums played, or movies watched and we are there, all with a #1 with a lemonade.
  • Leading our families on these kind of adventures still has its challenges, but could you imagine leading a whole nation across the wilderness.
  • No highway. No exits.  No businesses.  No restaurants. No air-conditioning. 
  • And as we’ll see in today’s text, even a lack of water.
  • This is the task that Moses was given. He was called to lead this nation of Israel as a godly leader.
  • And ultimately He did do it as a godly leader.
  • But there were bumps along the way.
  • As believers we are called to be leaders. We influence.
  • There is a time where influencing is easy, and there are times when it is difficult.

Today we are going to see four truths that godly leaders must acknowledge if they are going to lead well.

Truth #1.  Godly leaders must lead when it is difficult. V. 1-5

Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.2 And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.3 And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!4 And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?5 And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.

Numbers 20:1-5

  • Miriam passed away, and this must have been difficult for Moses.
    • Miriam was Moses’ sister.
    • She had been used to sustain Moses’ life in the river.
    • She was a leader in the exodus.
    • She had led in celebrating Israel’s victory over Egypt after the crossing of the Red Sea.
    • Micah 6:4 even includes her as an influential leader in the exodus.

4 For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam- Micah 6:4

  • Her death here is part of the consequences that God had spelled out after the children of Israel chose not to go into the promised land.
  • Everyone ages 20 years or older would die other than Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb.
  • Of course, not having water was a problem.
  • This tempted the people who were still following Moses to organize against him. They said three things:
  1. They should have stayed in Egypt.
  2. They should have died fighting against God.
  3. There is no food or provision here.
  • 2 issues here remind us that leadership is not easy.
    • First, no matter what happens, we do not shed the responsibilities of leadership or our own personal lives when we lead.
      • We must trust God when we go through tough times.
      • Even though Moses was dealing with the grief of losing Miriam, he still had to deal with this problem. So it is with we who lead.
    • Second, there is a breaking point for those who follow us.
      • Many of the people that remained had not rebelled before.
      • They had followed Moses up until this point.
      • But when things got bad, they complained. How bad would thing have to get for me to complain? Do I trust in God and obey Him no matter how hard it gets?

Truth #2. Godly leaders must seek God for solutions. V.6-8


6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them.

Numbers 20:6

  • Moses and Aaron responded to the rebellious, questioning response of their people by going to God humbly in intercessory prayer, seeking direction from Him.
  • They didn’t know how to respond.
  • God was gracious to them.
  • He didn’t just give them an answer. He gave them His presence.
  • This presence was described here as “the glory of the Lord”.
  • Leaders who don’t know what to do (and even when we do know what to do) should value God’s solutions.
  • It is right and necessary for godly leaders to get face down before the Lord.
  • We should seek God’s answers in leadership.
  • It is crucial that we glorify God, and when we follow God’s direction, He will glorify Himself through our leadership.
  • When we humble ourselves, He will be exalted.

7 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.- Numbers 20:7-8

  • Moses and Aaron had rightly and humbly come before God to ask for his help and seek a solution.
  • God had responded with his presence, and He gave them an answer.
  • God told Moses to speak to the rock. That was different than the last time where Moses had struck the rock (Numbers 17:5-7).
  • Moses had used his staff throughout Exodus and Numbers to part the red sea, turn the Nile to blood, prove his authority from God by making his staff turn to a serpent.
  • Perhaps God asked him to speak to the rock instead of striking the rock so that he would remember that the staff was not supernatural or powerful in itself.
  • The staff did not deliver, supply, or judge. God did.
  • It, like Moses, was a vessel that God used and no more.
  • This was true of the staff, of Moses, and it’s true of us as well.
  • When God uses us to do good things in his name, it is He who does those things.
  • We are vessels He may choose to use. We must remember who we are and who He is.
  • When we do this, we will be more inclined to obey.
  • A primary way to do this is to go to God for solutions.
  • When we do, we must obey God’s will and follow God’s direction.

Truth #3. Godly leaders must obey God completely. V.9-11

9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

Here we see Moses’ outburst with the people. Several problems can be seen here.

  1. He struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it as God commanded.
  2. He took credit for the miracle.
  3. He let his anger get out of control.
  4. He was as bad as the people were in the attitude they displayed.
  • Ironically, he was upset at them for having a wrong attitude, and he displayed his displeasure with their attitude with a bad attitude.
  • He was upset with disobedience, and he in responding he was disobedient.
  • It was natural for Moses to be frustrated with the sinful, disobedient, ungrateful attitude of the people he led.
  • The problem was that he displayed some of those same qualities but with pride as well.
  • He began to think that he was the solution instead of God.
  • Therefore, he began to take the credit. He assumed his anger was righteous even though it lead to disobedience.
  • In trying to solve problems as a leader, we must not begin to think that we are the ultimate solutions to all the problems.
  • In trying to push God’s agenda where we lead, we must become self-righteous or arrogant.
  • We must not arrogantly be angered.
  • We must be led missionally, scripturally, and humbly, while at the same time being bold and optimistic.
  • And most simply stated, we must obey God.

Truth #4. Godly leaders must accept difficult consequences. V. 12-13

12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.

Numbers 20:12-13

God told Moses and Aaron why he was holding them accountable by not letting them lead the people into the promised land.

  1. They did not trust God.
  2. They did not uphold His holiness in front of the people.
  • God was not being petty about striking the rock versus speaking to the rock.
  • He expected to be obeyed, trusted, worshipped as holy, and magnified for His provision before the people.
  • Moses, in his anger, failed to do this. He was disobedient. Yet God was gracious to provide the water. Even still, there were consequences.
  • The Explore the Bible curriculum says in application to the truth of this passage:

“God holds us accountable for our actions. Regardless if we are provoked, emotionally drained, or physically exhausted, no excuse exists for a lack of faithfulness among leaders and followers alike. We are to represent our Lord well in this world.”


We can exhibit godly leadership by observing 4 truths that leaders must acknowledge.

1.  Godly leaders must lead when it is difficult. V. 1-5

2. Godly leaders must seek God for solutions. V.6-8

3. Godly leaders must obey God completely. V.9-11

4. Godly leaders must accept difficult consequences. V. 12-13

1 thought on “Numbers- Session 3- Godly Leadership- Resources”

  1. Awesome and powerful truths!
    May I faithfully and humbly obey my Lord however and wherever He leads! And always glorify your beloved Lord!

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