Profiles in Leadership–The General

Vol. 1, No. 11 – 2016

The Lord raised up a deliverer.  Judges 3:9-11

The General comes in the hours of darkness and moves through the peaks of triumph.

This General is akin to a four-star military general—Othniel. His name is Lion of God in the Hebrew. Othniel lived in Southwestern Palestine; a man of quality and skill, and full of integrity. He came from a strong blood line; a nephew of Caleb, the “CEO” under Joshua.

Caleb was a man not content with the average, or the commonplace. He did not think in terms of fences, walled-cities, or especially defeat. Othniel observed his uncle to learn how to handle the tough decisions, learning the lessons well. Bulldogs produce bulldogs. Effective leaders produce following leaders.

Othniel is the first of the judges; he had things going for him to provide results:

  1. He is a respected chief of the tribe of Judah. Although he is mature in age, he uses his learning to be a conquering hero.
  2. He is not a man of mere rude strength and dashing inventiveness.
  3. He does not run risks to gain elevated power, which few handle rightly.
  4. He is a person of honor and wisdom; he evaluates the problem and does his best to solve it.
  5. The Spirit of the Lord was upon him, clothing him, controlling him, having possession of him. The Holy Spirit, the invasive influence that transforms a person, is able to address not only the physical, but also the spiritual potentials of a person.
  6. He is a person that first looked inward, judging himself; then judged his people, before moving out to address the conflicts that beset Israel. Self-judgment must always precede approaching the enemy—and it begins upon the bended knee.
  7. He is a person that uses integrity first at home before entering the battles elsewhere.
  8. He stops the leakage of deterioration at home before heading off the enemies abroad.
  9. He follows the training of Caleb; finding the enemy, fixing the enemy in place, then capturing by envelopment (or slugging it out if need be). It is the same pattern General Ulysses S. Grant used in 1861.
  10. He is a winner; he moves forward to win over any oppressor.

After eight years under oppressive factors upon the nation of Israel, in a time when the nation experienced things getting worse and worse, God raised up this extraordinary instrument to retrieve the honor of His Name.

Thus our businesses, education institutions, families and government desperately need people like Othniel to lead, and to develop following leaders. It is what is needed for such a time as this.

But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us—is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own. 2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT

One cannot help but to reflect upon our own areas of service and ministry, our own family and nation after reading of Othniel. The time is urgent for leadership and following leaders; the time is urgent to begin upon bended knee.

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

October 1, 2016

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