A Christian leader should seek to match their values with values stated as desirable in God’s Word. Read Jonah 4:1-11.
Jonah felt great delight when God planned to destroy the wicked people of Nineveh. Jonah didn’t pull any punches; he wanted the city of Nineveh, the center of the Assyrian empire that had tortured his people for years, destroyed. Jonah was angry when God showed compassion and did not bring about the destruction that Jonah felt the Assyrians deserved. Jonah failed as a prophet because he abandoned his God-honoring values and acted on his own sense of what God should do. Jonah’s values failed to match God’s values.
Leaders who exhort their team to a higher moral level serve the organization well. Read Jonah 3:6-9.
When the city of Nineveh got the news of Jonah’s message concerning God’s judgment and the impending demise of the nation that would follow, the king of Nineveh immediately repented. He took off his royal robes and put on clothing made of rough burlap-like material called sackcloth and sat in a pile of ashes to demonstrate his total humility before God. He first repented of his own sin and then used his influence to bring about a city-wide revival. The king of Nineveh used his position to exhort the people to change the moral climate of the entire nation. When God saw his response, He had compassion on the Ninevites and did not destroy the city.
Tags: Attitude, Communication techniques, Confrontation, Core Values, Exhort, Firm Rebuke, Humility before God, Moral and ethical standards, Moral climate of an entire nation, Repentance, Team's welfare
Jonah left no doubt how he felt about giving any encouragement or hope to the Assyrians living in Nineveh. He knew them to be a cruel, idolatrous, proud, ruthless people and even though he was a God-chosen prophet, when God commanded him to preach repentance to the Ninevites, Jonah went the opposite direction. Rather than be too quick to judge Jonah we should ask who among us, which leader hasn’t sensed God telling them to do something they really didn’t want to do. It can be pretty easy to convince ourselves that we know better than God in some circumstances.
A leader’s decisions affects the stakeholders. Read Jonah 1:1-17.
God gave Jonah a command to preach repentance to the Assyrian king and the people living in Nineveh. Jonah chose to go the opposite direction and caught a ship in Joppa bound for the port of Tarshish. God decided to recall Jonah and in the process sent a mighty storm that threatened to sink the ship. Jonah’s decision to run from God threatened the lives of the unsuspecting sailors. The cause of the storm lay with a man they had never met based on his decision he made before the journey began. Jonah became part of the sailors’ system and their lives were dramatically affected.
Leaders who lack character are often more destructive to an organization than helpful. Read Jonah 1:1-12.
Jonah was God’s prophet in Israel between 785-775 B. C. approximately 175 years after the reign of Solomon. Assyria is the dominate world power and in approximately 60 years, in 722 B. C, will have a military victory over the Northern Kingdom of Israel and will take the majority of those living in Israel into exile. Israel and Judah had already seen several examples of the cruelty, tyranny and brutality of Assyria and were living in great fear of any Assyrian military move against them.