Abraham Lincoln February 3 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today's Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Exodus 4:18–6:27; 1Chronicles 6:1–4a; Exodus 6:28–7:13

Early Leadership Struggles

Most people are familiar with Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States. He is considered one of the greatest leaders of all time, but in his early years as president he was criticized severely by most people and even his own party. Perhaps you are called of God to do something, yet early on you experience difficulties. You are discouraged. Did God call you to do this or not? If he called you to do this, why are you experiencing so many difficulties? Shouldn't all your efforts be blessed? If you have felt this way, join the club. The LORD is testing your faith and your tenacity. You believe something is God's will, but others are slow to buy into it. They have to be shown that this is God’s will and that he has chosen you to lead. Today's Bible study will give us some understanding of early leadership struggles and how the LORD can help.

The Need for Leadership

After almost 400 years, God said he was concerned about Israel's bondage and cruel treatment. Why did he wait so long? In God's great compassion he was giving the Amorite nation living in the land of Canaan opportunity to repent before wiping her people out (Genesis 15:16). Furthermore, the Israelites were now crying out to God in their bondage (Exodus 2:23). Perhaps before then Israel did not fully appreciate their desperate plight and cry out to him. Is there a need for leadership in our lives? Are people crying out to God for it? The LORD wants to be needed.

God sees the misery of his people—he hears their cries from the lashes and beatings of the slave drivers, he is concerned about their sufferings, and the LORD is coming down to rescue them! He is going to be personally involved in saving the Israelites (notice the many times that God uses the personal pronoun “I” in Exodus 3:7-10).

There are times when we, like God, personally come to the rescue of our children because it is important that they know “Dad did this for me” or “Mom did this for me.” We do things for them which they cannot do for themselves. Their dependence and humble gratitude brings them closer to us. Let us consider helping our family members, choosing the right time to help lift burdens they cannot lift themselves (we are talking about loving, not spoiling our children).

God comes to the rescue of his children, and he cares about those who are enslaved and unmercifully abused. Perhaps you are crying out to him right now. He hears and delivers his children (those who have a personal relationship with him). Do you know him? Are you his child? (more...)

God Chooses Leadership

God is going to use Moses to lead them out of bondage. Moses, however, is a reluctant messenger. He has no confidence in himself or his abilities, so he asks the LORD to send someone else to deliver the Israelites. God is angry with Moses because He gives the ability to lead, but Moses declines. He finally convinces Moses to go by telling him that he is appointing his brother Aaron as the spokesman and that He (God) will help them. The LORD will give us the ability to do his will if we will trust him.

Adversity in Leadership

In today's Bible reading Moses and Aaron go before Pharaoh but encounter adversity as God said. The people of Israel are encouraged by the hopeful words and signs of Moses, but Pharaoh does not know God or fear him. When Pharaoh refuses to listen to Moses and Aaron but increases the labors and misery of the Israelites, they are despondent and blame God’s messengers. Moses and Aaron lose their credibility with the Israelites. They are discouraged and disillusioned. Hadn't God sent them to deliver the Israelites?

Moses should have expected opposition because God told him it would be so (Exodus 3:18-20). Now, the LORD is going to get greater glory by delivering his people with a mighty hand and in such a way that the Israelites will know he is personally delivering them (Exodus 6:1-8). God will reveal himself to the Israelites as more than just the Almighty God; he will show them he is Yahweh (LORD), the personal, self-existent (“I AM”), faithful, and covenant keeping God. Perhaps immediate answers to our prayers are not forthcoming because the LORD is going to deliver us in a much greater way. It is then that we will glorify and know him personally. Do we know him? (more...)

Tenacity in Leadership

Except for his reluctance to speak, Moses is chosen to lead God's people out of Egypt, and he obeys everything God commands him (Exodus 6:28–7:13). He sticks to his task and returns to Pharaoh, willing to face more rejection, if necessary, to do the will of God. What about us? Leadership requires tenacity, even in times of adversity. Are we willing to keep doing the will of God, even in the face of adversity? As we gain more experience in leadership, this becomes easier.

Lessons to Live By

  • It takes time, patience and dependence on God to sustain us through the stages of early leadership; people must become convinced that God is leading us.
  • The LORD will give us the ability to do his will if we will trust him.
  • Immediate answers to our prayers are not always forthcoming because God is going to deliver us in a much greater way. It is then that we will glorify and know him personally. Do you know God? He offers us forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life. He answers prayers (more...).
  • Leadership requires trust in God and tenacity. Ask him for courage and strength to keep going.

Today’s Bible Memory Verse

Psalm 31:3 (NIV) “Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.”

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A Look Ahead: God will deliver the Israelites as he promised, but first he must remove idols. What does Removing Idols have to do with God's deliverance? Find out in our Next Lesson.

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