Leaders who selfishly pursue their own interests above those of God and others become unfaithful stewards whose influence debase rather than edify. A few select passages from 2 Kings that bring this point home are: 3:1-3; 8:16-27; 12:1-8; 13:1-6.
The second book of the kings of Israel and Judah describes the final days of the divided kingdom before both halves fall into captivity. As much as anything, this book is the story of failed leadership. Although there were some examples of earthly success, there were very few leaders that showed godly character, competence and compassion and the people they led reflected the deficiencies of the leaders.
It cannot be stated too strongly or too often that living a godly life and demonstrating godly leadership requires extraordinary courage. Read 1 Kings 17:1 and 18:16-40.
Elijah was a prophet of the one true God and he lived in the northern kingdom during the time of King Ahab’s rule. Since Ahab had chosen to serve other gods, there was continual conflict between Elijah and Ahab. Even though Elijah knew he served the one true God, he was also aware that prophets then, as Christians are today, can be martyred for the one they serve. Once Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, had imported prophets of the god she served from her home country of Tyre, the conflict between Elijah, God’s spokesperson, and Ahab escalated.
Many of us work daily on specific areas of personal/character development or becoming better at specific leadership techniques and principles. This daily effort allows us to utilize the potential God created in us. Along with this daily growth, we are well served to periodically look at the big picture of how God develops a leader and make application to our own situation.
Joshua became a leader at one of Israel’s most difficult times in its history. Within days of his appointment he led the nation across the Jordan River into hostile territory and set out to conquer, divide and settle the land God had promised the Hebrew people. It was a daunting task but Joshua succeeded in this assignment as God’s leader. A brief review may help you see how your daily work fits into the big picture of becoming God’s leader for the assignment He has given you:
In the study of Joshua as a leader we have the benefit of seeing his whole leadership life from start to finish. Having the whole story of Joshua’s leadership life allows us to quickly respect him as a leader but had you been alive back in his day watching him develop as a leader, it is possible you could have had a different feeling about Joshua’s influence as a leader. According to Numbers 14:10a “But the whole assembly talked about stoning them.” So what happened? How did Joshua’s influence grow from a man saved from being stoned only by intervention of God to a man the people willingly followed into battle when taking the Promised Land?
There are two kinds of false leaders in organizations: man-appointed and self-appointed. Yesterday, there were truths about Korah, a self-appointed leader, today truths about Balaam, a man-appointed leader. Read Numbers 22:5-24:25.