17. MAJORITY RULE IS OFTEN A BAD IDEA.
Exodus 16:2,3 - "Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them, 'Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
This lesson is underscored in Exodus 23:2 also - "You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice." We must ascertain what is right based on the teaching of God's word, not based upon who or how many support a particular action. A man who always checks to see which way "the wind is blowing" before speaking or acting might make for a popular politician but he won't be a good leader. Majority rule is not inherently wrong, but it is often a bad idea.
18. GOD WILL PROVIDE FOR THE NEEDS OF HIS CHILDREN.
Exodus 16:4,35 - "Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not'...And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan."
How could God feed over two million people in the wilderness for nearly four decades? Miraculously! God provided for them as He promises to do for any today who seek first His kingdom and righteousness (cf. Matt. 6:33). We must trust Him and do our part, and He will take care of us.
19. GOD'S BLESSINGS ARE OFTEN TESTS.
Here is a second lesson from Exodus 16:4.
The manna that God provided six days a week was both a blessing and a test. Would the Israelites obey in only gathering what they needed each day (except on Friday), and would they obey in not going out to gather anything on Saturday? Some did not obey; they failed the tests. What about us? Will we use the blessings He bestows in harmony with His will or will we use them disobediently? Money, for example, can be a great blessing, enabling one to give and do good works to God's glory (cf. Eph. 4:28; I Tim. 6:17-19), but this is only the case if we are its master. If we allow money to possess us, so to speak, the blessing will turn into a curse (cf. I Tim. 6:10).
20. EVEN STRONG LEADERS NEED ASSISTANCE.
Exodus 17:12 - "But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."
Even the most optimistic and upbeat need encouragement; they get tired and need their hands held up at times. Leaders should look for those they can count on for assistance. Followers should look for ways to help hold up the weary hands of the leaders. The next practical lesson is related.
21. THE MOST EFFECTIVE LEADERS DELEGATE.
"Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace."This is one thing that separates good leaders from great ones. To delegate will ultimately get more accomplished (though there will be a learning curve) and it will help develop someone else for service and leadership. A refusal to delegate out of pride, thinking that you and only you can do a certain task, will hinder the work of the Lord in some way (cf. Acts 6:1-7) and increase the likelihood of burnout.