If you ask Google the question “Why good leaders are important,” you will discover almost 10 billion answers. Here are the first three articles I found that discusses the need for good leadership.
“Leadership matters. It matters today more than ever,” says Raj Sisodia, Babson professor of marketing and the F.W. Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business. “But, the old way has run its course. Leadership today must be based on purpose, inspiration, caring, and compassion.”
“Remember that employees habitually copy the behavior of their leaders. So a business or organizations leaders have a lot of responsibility resting on their shoulders” (sdgyoungleaders.org).
“While an organization may have people with various talents and capabilities, it is leadership that harnesses individual efforts towards the collective goal. By inspiring and motivating teams and coordinating personal actions for the advancement of a common goal, leaders help their companies achieve excellence” (indeed.com).
It should not surprise us that God gave directions about the kind of leaders he wanted for the Hebrew nation.
Leadership God’s Way
Moses described God’s vision of a good leader. He gave the nation permission to have a king as the leader of the nation.
— Deuteronomy 17.14-15 – When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,”
You may indeed set over you a king whom the Lord your God will choose. One of your own community you may set as king over you; you are not permitted to put a foreigner over you, who is not of your own community.
The ninth chapter of First Samuel describes how Saul became the first king over Israel. He was followed by Israel’s most famous king, David.
David’s son, Solomon, failed to follow God’s guidance concerning kings. The result of his errors was a civil war and a nation that remained divided for 3,000 years.
Please listen to the interview I had with Rudy Ross on the subject of Solomon. It can be seen on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
God’s direction for kings involved the acquisition of property and multiple wives.
— Deuteronomy 17.16-17 – Even so, he must not acquire many horses for himself, or return the people to Egypt in order to acquire more horses, since the Lord has said to you, “You must never return that way again.”
And he must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself.
Solomon disregarded the command about horses. He had “forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen” (1 Kings 4.26).
Marriage was a way of forming alliances with other nations. Solomon followed that custom and “made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt; he took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David” (1 Kings 3.1).
Solomon acquired immense wealth. For example, “All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver” (1 Kings 10.21).
As an old man Solomon reflected on his life, he evaluated his accomplishments and proclaimed their emptiness.
Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind. (Ecclesiastes 1.2, 14)
Solomon should serve as a warning to leaders who think that God’s guidance is only a suggestion and not an eternal truth.
Know and Do God’s Will
There is no better guidance than God’s direction. As such, leaders should know and do God’s will.
This was the prescription for the king.
— Deuteronomy 17.18-20 – When he has taken the throne of his kingdom, he shall have a copy of this law written for him in the presence of the levitical priests.
It shall remain with him and he shall read in it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, diligently observing all the words of this law and these statutes,
Neither exalting himself above other members of the community nor turning aside from the commandment, either to the right or to the left, so that he and his descendants may reign long over his kingdom in Israel.
President Abraham Lincoln arose each morning and knelt before the Bible. He read God’s word and prayed about what he had read. He asked God for guidance and led our nation through one of the darkest periods of our history.
Our world needs religious, business, political, and educational leaders who embrace the prescription that God gave his people under Moses.
As we consider these words, we should ask God to give us the kind of leaders that are outlined in this passage. To the degree that we have a leadership role, we can seek to conform our lives to these commands.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross is an excellent student of the Bible and a lover of God. Rudy and I have a YouTube video on this passage that can be seen on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
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