“10 Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. 11 He asked the LORD, ‘Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? 13 Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.” (Numbers 11:10-15) (NIV)
By my calculations, from the time Jethro gave him the advice to the time described in these verses, it was less than two years. In Numbers 10:11-12 the Bible tells us:
“11 On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the covenant law. 12 Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran.”
So what happen with Moses’ help? Why is he saying: “What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?” In his interaction with the Lord, Moses added: “If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.” Wow, Moses sounded suicidal here! Moses is now a man who is totally burned-out in two year of this long journey. We all know that the children of Israel wondered in the desert for forty years; how can a man in this condition last thirty eight in the same position after this? Many of us are ready for a vacation once a year!
So what was God’s answer? How was He going to resolve this issue? How was Moses going to remain the leader for the rest of this long journey? Obviously, the advice of Jethro fell short of providing Moses real help: capable men, men who fear God, trustworthy men and men who hate dishonest gain, were not enough. So this is what God did and it is in fact the heart of this message in what leadership stands in need of, today.