#112: A Warning of Judgement from God for all Wannabe Leaders

I recall a Forbes article from a few years ago listing the top 10 most corrupt leaders of all time. Big surprise, all 10 were politicians—presidents of their respective countries.

Judgement Jeremiah

While no U.S. presidents made the list, it was easy to find a list of the top 10 most corrupt business leaders in America. More than a few were involved in politics in some way. Their corruption generally centered on fraudulent accounting and reporting activities while they enjoyed lifestyles of the rich and famous. The result of their corruption was failed companies, and unemployed workers left without their retirement funds.

God holds leaders responsible for their actions in a very special way. When God was getting ready to judge the nation of Israel for their sin He commanded Jeremiah to prophesy to them (Jeremiah 25:30-38). God used some very graphic language describing Himself, and what was going to happen to the nations of the world including the Israelites. Five of the six graphic images of God’s judgement are directed to the people in general. But God calls out leaders in particular in the sixth illustration of His wrath:

Judgement for doomed leaders would be like being chased by wild lions with nowhere to hide.

Leaders, in God’s economy, bear a special heightened level of responsibility and accountability for their leadership.

It seems today, as in Jeremiah’s time, many men want to become leaders for the power and prestige that comes with the mantle of leadership without much regard to the responsibility and accountability that goes with such a position.

Listen now to God’s words directed to the bad leaders of Jeremiah’s time:

“Weep and wail, you shepherds; roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock. For your time to be slaughtered has come; you will fall and be shattered like fine pottery. The shepherds will have nowhere to flee, the leaders of the flock no place to escape. Hear the cry of the shepherds, the wailing of the leaders of the flock, for the LORD is destroying their pasture. The peaceful meadows will be laid waste because of the fierce anger of the LORD. Like a lion he will leave his lair, and their land will become desolate because of the sword of the oppressor and because of the LORD’s fierce anger.” Jeremiah 25:34-38 (NIV)

These leaders could weep and mourn all they wanted, but God’s judgement was coming. They would be slaughtered with nowhere to flee to safety. Even their possessions were to be destroyed.

Why did God single out leaders? Because these leaders had led God’s people away from God. They were priests, rulers, judges, and prophets who all played a part in pushing God out of people’s lives to the point that they had rejected God and begun to worship false gods.

You and I may not be priests, ruler, judges, or prophets (although some of you may be), but regardless, if God has given you the privilege of leading then along with that privilege comes the added responsibility and accountability to God for the care of his people.

Make no mistake, God is jealous for His people. Jesus, teaching the disciples gave this warning,

“But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me—it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea!” Matthew 18:6 (HCSB)

So take care leaders. Whether you are leading little children in the family or in a classroom, or leading great companies, or even nations God expects us to take great care to lead in such a way that we care for His children.

Join the Conversation

As always questions and comments are welcome. Do you know of leaders who have led God’s people astray. Does knowing how God feels about the responsibility of leadership give you pause?

I’d love your help. This blog is read primarily because people like you share it with friends. Would you share it by pressing one of the share buttons below?

 

Category: Relationships | Exhortation

 

#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.

Rulers

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.

Prophets

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?

I’d love your help. This blog is read primarily because people like you share it with friends. Would you share it by pressing one of the share buttons below?

Category: Relationships | Exhortation

#029: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

What we see when we look in the mirror has an enormous impact on what we see in others, and how we respond to them.

Mirror

And how we respond to others says a great deal about our own spiritual walk. If we see ourselves pridefully, as superior, it will be very difficult to lead others.

The Apostle Paul addresses this very issue writing to the Galatians when he describes a man suddenly caught in sin and what should be done to restore him. First, we must see others humbly (vv 1-2), and second, we must see ourselves honestly (vv 3-5).

1  Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
2  Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
3  If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
4  Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else,
5  for each one should carry his own load. Galatians 6:1-5 (NIV)

See Others Humbly

Paul says the spiritual brother should restore the sinner gently. But he also issues a warning saying that believers need to be careful and mindful when restoring a brother that we ourselves might be tempted to sin. Part of the process of restoring a brother is to help carry their burdens. When we carry each other’s burdens we fulfill the law of Christ—to love one another.

See Ourselves Honestly

Paul says we must test our own actions. In other words, we need to see and recognize that we are all sinners. Because we are all sinners we should not be prideful. Someone else’s fall into sin is not to be an excuse to make ourselves look better. Also, we should not compare our work with someone else’s work. God has created a specific ministry for each of us. We need to focus on doing the work God has equipped us to do.

Summary

Restore gently, with an attitude of service to the fallen coworker, as an act of obedience to Christ.  Conduct yourself with humility, seeking counsel of others, with the goal of enabling the restored brother to serve God fully and completely as He has called him.

Application

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Are you balanced in your approach to coworkers? Good leaders respond fairly to everyone. It is important for every leader to have an honest appraisal of their treatment of coworkers and employees. If you’re not sure how you are doing ask some employees that you can trust to give you honest feedback.

Join the Conversation!

As always questions and comments are welcome. Are you able to see others humbly, assessing your own strengths and weaknesses honestly? Are you able to lift a co-worker up in love? What issues have you faced in the workplace that required restoration?

I’d love your help. This blog is read primarily because people like you share it with friends. Would you share it by pressing one of the share buttons below?

 

Category: Relationships | Exhortation