Student Teaching in the New Millenium

A paradox of leadership

In Numbers on June 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

What do leading leaders do?
Live to lead?  Lead to live?
Is there a difference?

Samuel teaches us that the Israelites committed “wicked thing,” asking for a king to be set over them.  Korah pursued leadership and was consumed.

Samuel recollects the Passover, the liberation from slavery, in contrast with the inauguration of the monarchy.  Is this telling?

So, are we not to pursue being led any more than we should pursue leading?  What does it mean to “pursue” leadership, from either direction?

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  1. I think the Israelites first blew it back on the mountain, when the flaming rocks started flying past: “You go talk to Him, Moshe! You’re good at that sort of thing, and for you, maybe He’ll listen!”

    I’m not saying what I would have done, just that it wasn’t a satisfactory arrangement.

    • Certainly not, but at that point, Israel didn’t know what it meant to be anything but a follower. Enslavement in Egypt wasn’t an ideal situation either.

      Moses, raised as a Prince, and who was previously the only one to have face to face contact with God, had an advantage there on both counts.

      Still, the tension grows throughout the story as the Israelites remain intransigent. This continues to this day: when will you start acting the part of the Prince of God? and when will you stop looking for enslavement?

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