#111: 4 Types of Leaders Who Rejected God and Failed

The world is a mess. Sorry to be so blunt, but look around.

Bible Leaders Jeremiah

Religious leaders are more concerned with their popularity than rightly dividing the Word of God. Business leaders are getting caught in their lies on a regular basis. Lawyers and judges are making a mockery of our system of jurisprudence. And politicians! Don’t even get me started on the politicians. Regardless of which side of the political aisle you prefer, they all seem to be more worried about building their power base than in governing well!

And what really bugs me is this is nothing new! This has been going for centuries and we the people have to pay the price!

Two weeks ago we learned about God’s call on Jeremiah to prophesy to the people of Israel (#109: Will you answer God when He calls you to lead?). Jeremiah was a bit reluctant to take on the task, but God convinced him it was the right thing to do for the sake of the people.

God goes on to tell Jeremiah why his prophecies were needed, and in the midst of that God described four groups of leaders who had utterly failed the people:

The priests quit asking, “Where is the LORD?” The experts in the law no longer knew Me, and the rulers rebelled against Me. The prophets prophesied by Baal and followed useless idols. Jeremiah 2:8 (HCSB)

The Priests

The priesthood was established specifically to mediate between God and man. They were to be God’s representatives to the people. These priests did not seek God’s counsel in teaching or leading the people.

Those Who Handle the Law

Moses established judges (see Exodus 18:21-22) for the nation of Israel. These men were to be able men, who feared God, loved truth, and hated covetousness. These judges don’t have a relationship with God, let alone fear God, love truth, and hate covetousness.


The rulers of the day (kings and other politicians) had turned away from God. They made conscious decisions to live lives their way; wicked lives of disobedience and rebellion against God.


The prophets were men, and occasionally women, who God called on to speak His Word directly to specific people. These prophets, instead of giving the people God’s Word were leading people astray by prophesying about the false god Baal.

The Resulting Judgement

The result of these four groups of people ignoring their responsibilities to lead the way God expected was that the entire nation had come to reject God. With the people’s rejection of God, came God’s judgement upon the people. God’s judgement included the nation of Israel being conquered, and the people sent into exile until they repented and came back to God.

Parallel to Today’s Leaders

Certainly some of our leaders are doing a good job of following God by representing Him faithfully and truthfully. I don’t want to suggest that all our leaders are corrupting influences on society.

But look around, do you see the parallel between the days of Jeremiah and our world today?

We have religious leaders who are cutting out whole sections of God’s Word because it doesn’t fit their narrative. I saw an article just this morning about a pastor who doesn’t believe in God! He is not the first and I am sure will not be the last, but really, “How can we survive as a people of God, when our pastors reject God?”

Judges and lawyers, the people who administer our legal system seem to be fighting harder to keep God and His presence as far away from the courtroom as they possibly can. Not only do we not have to swear on the Bible to tell the truth when we provide testimony, we have judges who want to make up their own moral systems based on their own humanistic values.

Our rulers, politicians if you will, at city, county, state, and federal levels are trying to push God out of our schools, our hospitals, and even out of the military.

We don’t see or hear about many prophets of God today, but there are certainly false prophets abounding throughout our society. They tell lies and while leading people away from the One True God, they cause people to worship false gods.

The Good News

All is not lost. I’ve read to the end of the book and I know who wins. In the meantime, it behooves us as believers, to listen to the Holy Spirit, God’s voice to us today. We need to do everything we can to be the kind of example to non-believers that will draw people back to God. We need to do what we can to install leaders who respect and faithfully follow God.

The consequence of not doing so, for the sake of future generations, is too frightening to contemplate.

Join the Conversation

As always questions and comments are welcome. What is your take on these various types of leaders around the world today? What do you think needs to happen?

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Category: Relationships | Exhortation

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