Sometimes a leader’s sin is not anything he has personally done wrong, but the people he leads; their sin becoming his sin. Hear Moses:
Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither (Deuteronomy 1:37).
Three times in one speech in one day, Moses returns to the subject, which shows how much it pained him (Deuteronomy 3:26; 4:21). Three times he took the matter to God, until God warned him to raise the subject no more with Him. It was one prayer point God would not answer that great intercessor. O, how desperately Moses would have wanted it otherwise.
But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; SPEAK NO MORE unto me of THIS MATTER (Deuteronomy 3:26).
This means that the leader’s righteousness is not merely in keeping his personal garments clean, by committing no sin; it is also in being cautious how he leads the people, or how he lets them distort how he leads them. It might be sufficient for them that they keep their garments clean; but for him, that’s only part of the requirements. Hear Moses one more time and feel the pain in his voice as he returns to the matter:
21 "But the Lord was angry with me BECAUSE OF YOU. He vowed that I would not cross the Jordan River into the GOOD LAND the Lord your God is giving YOU as YOUR SPECIAL POSSESSION. 22 YOU will cross the Jordan to occupy the land, BUT I will not. Instead, I will die here on the east side of the river. 23 So be careful… (Deuteronomy 4:21-23, New Living Translation).
This was probably why, in the Old Testament, the high priest had to present sacrifices not only for himself but also for the people on the Day of Atonement.
But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of THE PEOPLE (Hebrews 9:7).
Dear Priest, when last did you offer a sacrifice for the errors of your people? Don’t ignore them; those people are powerful, and sometimes they hold the swing vote as to whether or not you cross into “that good land,” after sacrificing royal privileges in Pharaoh’s palace, after decades of labouring through the dry desert.
July 25, 2017.