Parashat Ha’azinu means “to listen in”; the text reading is Devarim/Deuteronomy 32:1-52, and the haftarah text reading is Shemu’el Bet/2 Samuel 22:1-51.
Parashat Ha’azinu includes seventy (70) lines of a song sung to the Yisra’el-ites by Mosheh on the very last day of his life.
Mosheh called heaven and earth both to witness as the people were to remember [the days of old], were to consider [all the generations], were to ask their fathers [all that had happened], and were to ask the elders [to teach them how Elohim had found them and made them His people]. Through it all, Elohim would never leave nor forsake those whom He has called His own.
Finally, Mosheh is instructed by יהוה to ascend Mount Nevo and to look at all the land being given to the Yisra’el-ite people, though Mosheh himself never aids in possession of the land.
What does this mean for the Believer in and Follower of יוהשע ha-Meshiach today?
Are you called?
Are you called by יהוה?
Are you called by יהוה for a specific purpose?
Many are called but few are chosen …
Mattityahu/Matthew 22:14 says, and this is יהושע speaking, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Many, many leaders have risen through the ranks throughout all of human history; some led with the utmost of honesty and integrity, some had an absolute focus on the task at hand, some have led with the greatest of passion, most respected those of whom they lead, some were able to persuade the masses to acclimate to their own wills, some led with confidence, some showed perfect clarity to their plans, most have given great care for and to their charges, some have shown a greater compassion than others, some engaged with those they mean to lead, most celebrated with their subordinates even in the smallest of victories, some bowed in humility rather than rose in tyranny, and some were empowered and thusly empowered their subjects. Most all leaders have very good communication skills, there is usually a fearlessness to a good leader, and most all leaders know how to support the people they lead and the plans their people devise.
According to Industry Leaders Magazine, the ten (10) greatest leaders in history are … Mahatma Gandhi, who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”; George Washington, who was leader general of the America Revolutionary War and the first official president of the United States of America; Abraham Lincoln, who was the sixteenth (16th) president of the United Stated of America and who signed the Emancipation Proclamation which gave freedom to American slaves; Adolf Hitler, because of his oratory skills and planning; Muhammad, who founded the Islamic religion and was a very moving motivational speaker; Mao Zedong, who was the leader of the Chinese Revolution and the founding father of the People’s Republic of China; Nelson Mandela, who was the first South African president elected via a democratic election, and who had great determination and persistence; Julius Caesar, who was the greatest military leader of all time, being quick with his decisiveness and boldness; Fidel Castro, who led the Cuban Revolution with courage and strategy; Winston Churchill, who was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1940 until 1945 during World War II, and who exhibited fearlessness and an unyielding perseverance; (Alain, 2012).
None of the above leaders, however, can hold a candle to Mosheh. Mosheh is known to be one of the best, heads and shoulders above the rest, leaders of all time. His unique story and his own uniqueness show all of humanity how to seek out and receive יהוה divine purposes for all. Let’s look at how Mosheh added up as this great and mighty leader …
He was observant. From the very beginning, he lived between two worlds- the son of Yisra’el and the son of Mitsrayim. Yet, even as he was trained to be a prince in the land of Mitsrayim, he knew and understood the wrongness of the slavery of the Yisra’el-ite people. He noticed a Mistrite beating an Yisra’el-ite, and when Mosheh saw that no one was looking, he took the matter of the mismanaging Mistrite upon himself.
Mosheh had principle. He knew the need for forgiveness in his own life because of his own sin and he was able to teach such a principle to the people who followed him. When the people saw his sin, the people also saw him seeking forgiveness.
Mosheh showed humility. He became a shepherd of sheep when he was called by יהוה to lead יהוה’s people out of Mitsrayim. A shepherd. I can only imagine how long he had to bathe at the end of the day, or how much his ears rang as he listened to the non-stop bleating of his sheep, the ache of his hands as he searched each and every one of his charges for ear mites and other skin afflictions, the rumbling of his stomach as he searched first for good pasture for his sheep. And, when Mosheh became the shepherd of יהוה’s people, he knew how to respond humbly and not react as though the people were a nuisance.
Mosheh knew how to make plans, and how to change his routine when necessary. Sometimes, the Yisra’el-ites were encamped somewhere for months at a time, other times they were encamped somewhere for just a day or two.
Mosheh had honesty and integrity, he was fair and impartial, and when he ordered the appointment of judges from the tribes of Yisra’el, he taught the appointed judges how to judge with fairness and impartiality.
Mosheh knew his abilities, but he also knew that his abilities were from יהוה, and he never failed to lead by example- to know who you are but to know you are in יהוה.
Mosheh had the faith of the people as their leader, but Moshe’s faith was in יהוה, thereby being the example of effective faith.
Mosheh was dependable and trustworthy. Even for all the complaints and gripes that the people came to him with, he was always dependable and trustworthy.
Mosheh had confidence; he had confidence in himself and he had confidence in those he called “friend” … because he had confidence in יהוה.
Mosheh was a good listener. There were times when someone spoke to him and he would be silent or go off somewhere to be alone. In those moments, he was not snubbing the speaker, but taking to heart what the speaker was speaking.
Mosheh was teachable. Mosheh could not have been a good leader unless he was first and foremost a good follower. The journey in the wilderness may not have been a new thing for Mosheh- he had already lived in Midyan for forty (40) years –but there were aspects of his journey with the people through the wilderness that were new, even for him, and he had to be teachable in order to teach.
Mosheh was obedient to יהוה; yes, he also showed rebellion against what יהוה spoke to him. This flows with the concept of being teachable and with the act of forgiving.
Mosheh was a planner; he devised plans of actions and was able to give those plans to the people. He asked for suggestions, and he worked with the people for the betterment of all.
A leader ...
A leader leads by example.
Who was the people’s example?
Who was Mosheh’s example? יהוה.
Who is our example? יהושע.
Who was יהושע’s example? יהוה.
Alain, P. (2012, April 15). Leadership and 10 Great Leaders from History. Retrieved September 12, 2018, from Industry Leaders: https://www.industryleadersmagazine.com/leadership-and-10-great-leaders-from-history/