Foolish leader, tragic result

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When a selfish or foolish person gains a place of leadership, many suffer tragic results. It should be a self-evident truth. It is common sense, isn’t it? I have lived long enough to see organizations flourish when led by those who are willing to invest in long-term goals, when decisions are made with integrity; and I have seen organizations go to chaos and failure when bad choices pile up, one after another. Proverbs says “When good people run things, everyone is glad, but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans. ” (Proverbs 29:2, The Message)

My reading Exodus today took me to the familiar story of the Israelites crossing of the Red Sea. (14)  Most of the time we read it for the obvious lesson about trusting God in impossible situations, waiting for Him to open a way forward for us when we are caught between the devil and the sea! And, that is certainly a powerful truth in that chapter. But, today I saw the plight of the Egyptian army that ended up dead because of the folly of the Pharaoh.

Moses responded to God’s instructions and, when he exercised faith, the Red Sea parted. “So the people of Israel walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!”   After all that had happened, one might think that Pharaoh would say to himself, “Enough. It’s time to go home.”  But, he was foolish, in the grip of his pride.

The story goes on to say,  “Then the Egyptians—all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers—followed them across the bottom of the sea. But early in the morning, the Lord looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw them into confusion. Their chariot wheels began to come off, making their chariots impossible to drive.”  The tragic result of that leader’s folly is recorded thus-  “The water roared back into its usual place, and the Lord swept the terrified Egyptians into the surging currents. The waters covered all the chariots and charioteers—the entire army of Pharaoh. Of all the Egyptians who had chased the Israelites into the sea, not a single one survived.” … And the Israelites could see the bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shore.” (Exodus 14:22-31, NLT)

Here is a sobering question – how are you leading? Before you tell me you’re not a leader, think again. Not all of us have an official position of leadership. All of us are influencing others, all of the time.  Are we pointing people in the direction of the Lord, living in faith, with integrity? Are we selfless or selfish? Are we consumed with protecting our own interest or promoting the well-being of others?

The standard is not perfection. Were that true none could lead. God looks for a heart that leans into Him, that loves His ways, that is faithful. When we fail, and we will, if we are godly we will not try to make ourselves look good, we will authentically accept responsibility and work to turn it around for God’s glory.

Leadership in Christ’s kingdom is different. James and John, in youthful enthusiasm, anticipating an earthly Kingdom, went to Jesus to look for a position of authority and honor. His answer is the word from the Word today. Think about it. Pray, with me, for a heart that is yielded to God so that we will lead others to LIFE, not death. “So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that in this world kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45, NLT)

_________

 Only King Forever

(Is He King of your life?)

 Our God and firm foundation
Our Rock the only solid ground
The nations rise and fall
Kingdoms once strong now shaken
We trust forever in Your name
The name of Jesus
We trust in the name of Jesus

 You are the only King forever
Almighty God we lift You higher
You are the only King forever
Forevermore You are victorious

 Unmatched in all Your wisdom
In love and justice You will reign
And ev’ry knee will bow
We bring our expectations
Our hope is anchored in Your name
The name of Jesus

Oh we trust the name of Jesus

 We lift our banner high
We lift the name of Jesus
From age to age You reign
Your kingdom has no end

Chris Brown | Mack Brock | Steven Furtick | Wade Joye
© 2013 Be Essential Songs (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)
Elevation Worship Publishing (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)

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