The editorial of THE VINCENTIAN of July 22, 2022 had a most enlightening opinion, one that should make a great topic for debate among students.
It also beckoned, without saying it in as many words, that if we don’t guide and mould our young minds, they will grow accustomed to warped and confusing ideologies. And here is where instruction from the Holy Bible is most useful.
From my reading of the books of Kings and the Chronicles of their reigns, one recurring observation emerged … whenever the leaders followed God’s instructions there was a time of prosperity, but from the time they rejected His laws, perils, including death, war, and slavery, were their reward.
But how are leaders chosen or how do they rise?
Historically, leaders in tribal settings were the physically strong, like our own Chatoyer. They emerged as leaders from their hunting prowess and/or victories in battle. Their bravery and physical strength made them natural leaders. Other leaders assumed that regal position by being part of a ‘royal family’, so whenever the King or ruling Queen dies, the eldest son becomes the king. The Bible is replete with examples of the latter, Joash being the youngest of them all.
I mentioned Joash because he was orphaned by a wicked queen called Athaliah but divinely spared by his babysitter, and was sheltered in a temple by high priest Johaida who also taught him how to follow God’s instructions thereby having a successful reign of forty years. Read 2 Kings 12. So the success of leaders who rise through natural succession, depends to a great degree on the teachings they get and follow.
There are other forms of leadership that really don’t last due to connivance, and self-aggrandizement. Absalom, one of King David’s sons, was handsome and had some influence in David’s kingdom. He fell in with some younger men and some older ones too, who advised him to get rid of his father and take control of the Kingdom his father literally fought to save for him and the Jewish people from foreign invaders. David had even killed the Phillistine Goliath among his many military exploits.
When King David got news of the assassination plot, he ran for his life, on the way collecting Goliath’s sword for protection. Absalom followed in hot pursuit, but during the ensuing battle that took place in a forest, Absalom’s thick hair got caught in a low hanging branch while riding his mule, leaving him dangling in mid-air, where he was found and executed by one of David’s generals. So yes, good and bad leaders are allowed by the Almighty, but their outcomes are not the same: good leaders end up good, bad leads …..the opposite.
There is much we can learn about leadership from the Bible, Moses and Jesus being the best examples.
Moses’ leading the Israelites from bondage in Egypt was a journey that could have taken just forty days; it lasted for up to forty years in the desert. The delay was not of Moses’ making, it was occasioned by the Israelites who had grown accustomed to a foreign culture that encouraged eating meat. God changed their diet for forty years and instructed them along the way by giving mankind the 10 Commandments to guide us through life.
The most important aspect of leadership is teamwork. Moses, during the Exodus, had to settle disputes among the Israelites on a daily basis, hearing cases from sun up to sundown. Having over half a million people out in a hot desert environment in close contact would inevitably cause friction and strife. But his wise father-in-law, Jethro, advised him to choose honest men to judge the people. This intelligent move took the stress off of Moses, so that he could have more interaction with God who was instructing him.
Jesus, God incarnate (in the flesh), could have done it all by himself, because He is the Son of the Living God, but He chose to work with a team of disciples and followers of diverse origins and occupations. Matthew and Zaccheus were tax collectors; Luke was a doctor; Peter and his brothers were fishermen; Saul turned Paul was a tent maker.
He also used women, close followers like Mary Magdalene, whom He used to proclaim the gospel after His mission on earth was completed. This is a mystery with which only fools fail to come to grips.
1 Corintians 2:14 is instructive. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned”.
So, in conclusion, great leaders always pave the way for others to follow, but it is left to the incumbent to follow that chosen path as directed by God Almighty. Right, not might, is the recipe for success. And historically, our best leaders are those who have a firm belief in the Almighty and who adhere to His principles, of honesty, fairness and compassion for humanity, and who leads his team with humility and spiritual guidance.
Donald De Riggs