In this third instalment of our meditation on the lessons to be learned from the daughters of Zelophehad, we will be considering some Leadership lessons from the person of Moses.
Then came the daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher…And they stood before Moses, before Eleazar the priest, and before the leaders and all the congregation, by the doorway of the tabernacle of meeting, saying: “Our father died in the wilderness; but he was not in the company of those who gathered together against the Lord, in company with Korah, but he died in his own sin; and he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be removed from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.” So Moses brought their case before the Lord. – Numbers 27:1-5
The third insight for our meditation from this passage is a leadership lesson; particularly the leadership style of Moses. Two lessons stand out from this. Firstly, he was an accommodating leader and was neither high-handed in his reception of the daughters of Zelophehad nor dismissed their request as women’s talk. Rather, he welcomed and heard them out.
While this may not seem like a big deal, it is. Many persons at the helm of human endeavours – politics, business, religion, and other affairs – are more interested in downloading what they have to say rather than hearing out the people they are leading. The hospitality threshold of many leaders is very thin, and they are only at their indulgent best when they are in the glare of public eyes. Move closer or watch them at a close range and you will be shocked at what you will see. Moses wasn’t that way.
The second lesson is the humility of Moses. He did not make out to have an immediate answer to the request of the daughters of Zelophehad. He did not pre-empt God or make as if he had all the answers, after all he had been communing with God at close quarters. On the contrary. he requested for time and then took their matter to God for counsel. This show of humility is not common in these days of super, all-knowing leaders who make as if they have at their fingertips the solution to all the problems of humankind.
It requires humility on the part of a leader not to try to show or prove to his people that he has all the answers to their questions at the asking. It takes a great leader to consult God on knotty matters rather than show bravado and act in error. Moses was that kind of leader, and that is how you ought to be.
You will succeed in Jesus Name!