The Israelites had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them. Ex 39:42-43
Then comes inspection time. After Moses had inspected all the work, we read that he blessed the people. One short sentence but very significant in terms of its implications for leaders. What does it mean that Moses blessed the people? Douglas Stuart in his commentary on Exodus says that he said a prayer for them, asking that God would bring benefit to these people. We don’t know the actual words that Moses used, but we do know that it was meaningful and significant to these people. Moses was someone who spoke to God face-to-face, so the people could assume that in blessing them, Moses was speaking for God.
By blessing them, Moses communicated to the people that they had done what was commanded, and that both the Lord and Moses were pleased. He was commending them for a job well done. In other words, he was saying “Thank you” on behalf of God.
But Moses realizes his responsibility as leader and prophet to bless the people for this job well done. He was expressing in words the smile of God’s approval.
But Moses, David and Solomon realized that leaders need to bless their people when the work is completed and done as requested. They need to inspect the work, and let people know that they are pleased, and that God is pleased.
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor.
Yes, we hope that the people who are doing God’s work (e.g. missionaries on the field) will personally sense that God is pleased with them. But they also need to hear the words of commendation from their team leaders and field leaders. Not just a quick “Good job” or “Thank you” but one that is prefaced by a careful observation (or careful listening to a report) of what has been done. Even better, let’s pray a prayer of blessing for those who have faithfully served.