One God-honoring, God-required use of a leader’s power is to protect the powerless. Read Obadiah 8-14.
The book of Obadiah was written in the mid 800s B.C. prophesying about Edom’s actions both past and future. In the past they had withheld mercy by refusing to allow the tribes of Israel to pass through their land while traveling from Egypt to the Promise Land. In the future, during the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B. C, the Edomites will join with the Babylonians in destroying the people in Jerusalem, they will demonstrate genuine joy that the Jews are being slaughtered, they will take part in the looting of the city and the temple, and they will wait at the river crossings and capture those few that escape Jerusalem and turn them over to the Babylonians for execution. When the Jews were at their most powerless moment the Edomites did not use their power to help them but rather used their power and influence to inflict more pain and suffering.
It seems a little dramatic but there are times when God blesses a leader to bless an entire nation. Read 2 Chronicles 9:1-23.
John Maxwell discusses the extended blessing of an individual to a nation in his leadership notes in The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
Before he careened off course in his later years, Solomon began to fulfill God’s dream of blessing the nations through the nation of Israel. When leaders from the surrounding countries heard of his great wisdom, they hopped aboard their camels and made the long trek to Jerusalem to see whether the reports could be trusted. The Queen of Sheba spoke for these wide-eyed visitors when she said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on His throne to be king for the Lord your God!”
Yesterday we looked at David as a servant leader based on his actions toward Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson and David’s friend Jonathan’s son. Before leaving this part of David’s life, there are two more elements of leadership that should be addressed: generosity and gratitude. Review 2 Samuel 9.
Long after his friend Jonathan’s death, David returned a favor to his friend through a kindness to his son Mephibosheth. David restored Saul’s land to Mephibosheth and ordered Saul’s former servants to cultivate the land and provide an income for Mephibosheth. David also provided Mephibosheth a place in his court and invited him to eat at his table with his own sons. David’s gratitude for Jonathan’s friendship cultivated generosity toward his friend’s son.
Tags: Core Values
One of my mom’s 10,000 sayings was “you can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” Leaders who fail to display generosity should ask themselves if they really love the people they lead. Read Ruth 2:8-4:10.
Boaz was a leader that modeled generosity. He owned a large field and employed reapers to gather his harvest. According to Jewish law, when the harvesters had finished, the less fortunate were allowed to “glean” in the field, taking whatever the harvesters had left behind. Ruth was one of the “gleaners” in Boaz’s field.