Byron's Babbles

Exodus 14 Leadership

Posted in Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on February 9, 2013


You all have probably read the story of Exodus 14 where God directs the Israelites to Pihahiroth where they camp beside the Red Sea and Pharaoh pursues after them (Exodus 14: 1-9) Then the Israelites look back and their faith in moving forward wavered and Moses comforts them (Exodus 14: 10-14). God then instructs Moses to look forward and instruct the people that he will fight the fight for them. Also, the cloud between the Israelites and the Egyptians (Exodus 14: 15-20) The Israelites pass through the Red Sea, which drowns the Egyptians. God reminds the Israelites there is no enemy that can defeat them as long as He is on their side (Exodus 14: 21-31).

This is such an incredible story on leadership. You may remember that Moses’ leadership got the people out of Egypt. But when the hardships of leading the people through a desert got tough the people began complaining and looking back to and yearning for the life they came from, even though it was a life of slavery. This challenged Moses to his limit. Moses, you remember, was familiar with life in the desert; he had been a shepherd in the Sinai wilderness for 40 years when he served his father-in-law, Jethro. But the people of Israel were used to an agrarian life in the well-watered Nile delta. The desert was new and terrifying to them.

Does this sound familiar, that we as leaders, must lead through events and processes that they are not comfortable with. Even with the Red Sea blocking them from safety, Moses kept looking forward and sought God’s help. If you read the passage you will notice what Moses did. He seeks the Lord, literally, he “cried out” to the Lord. As a leader we most times see ourselves as problem-solvers rather than pray-ers. We need to learn from Moses who called on God and God gave him the solution. Wow, makes sense doesn’t it.

Moses, as a leader, was dealing with complaining, quarreling, and fractious people who began to question Moses’ leadership abilities. While leading the Israelites Moses met many challenges, but perhaps the greater leadership crisis is the kind of rebellion that surfaces when people are afraid or frustrated. Does this sound familiar in your organization?

We must remember to lead like Moses and continuing to move forward and not look back and second guess our decisions. While the Israelites were looking back at Pharaoh’s chariots coming at them, Moses was working out a solution with God’s help! We can learn from this, that as leaders we must stay focused on the task at hand.

Probably the most powerful part of the story in Exodus 14 is in verse 14 when Moses said “God will fight the battle for you” (Exodus 14: 14). Remember, to be a great lead-er we need to be pray-ers as well!

One Response

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  1. Mark Melnick said, on May 14, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Great word Byron – nailed it!


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