Leader or Tour Guide?

Ten spies with a bad report outvoted the two with a good report, and the word they brought back to Israel about the Promised Land reflected their attempt to justify their own reaction (Numbers 13:30-33).

Israel then 1) raised a loud cry; 2) wept; then 3) grumbled against their leaders (Numbers 14:1-4) — a familiar sequence in ministry. In their dialogue with themselves (there is no record that they actually discussed this with Moses, or with God) they concluded “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

In this instance they did not want a leader: they simply wanted a tour guide. They had already decided what they wanted and “leadership” — from God or otherwise — was the last thing on their minds. Leaders such as Israel wanted in this instance are the ones used to trip the booby traps or be the first ones eaten in a bear attack.

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