Vol.5, No. 14 – April 26, 2020
No regrets . . .
Leadership in a Time of Crisis
He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed with no one’s regret. They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings . –2 Chronicles 21:21
What if your gravestone has an epitaph, Here Lies _________, Who Cares?
It is a sad epitaph for a gravestone. Could King Jehoram’s gravestone have the epitaph, Here Lies King Jehoram . . . Who Cares? The rumor is that there were few mourners. How did a leader king who reigned for so few years end up like this?
In a time of crisis, when a person is placed in a position of leadership, their true character is revealed. Jehoram is not content to just run with the big dogs. He had to BE the big dog! Privileges of leading bring a revealing of the intents of a person.
Here is a man of privilege. He is a first-born. His father gives him the leadership of the kingdom. He is firmly established as king.
It was not enough.
Out of his driven desire to be number one, any possibility of a rival to his control and dominance is viewed as a genuine threat. Jehoram moves to get rid of the threats. (Today, the threats to a leader are often through political power; a threat from those who think they should be in charge.)
- What about his six brothers? Eliminate them. You have killed your own brothers of your father’s house, who were better than you (21:13)
- What about his powerful northern neighbor? Pacify them politically. He marries the daughter of Ahab (21:6)
- What about his own people? Unleash them morally. He brings the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves (21:13)
However, there is One rival that Jehoram can never dominate. One authority he can never stand above. One to whom he must be accountable. He even received an overnight letter from the prophet Elijah to remind him of these realities. Jehoram steels himself; he is not deterred. Others can bow; however, Jehoram will not for he is the leader (the pursued title).
Jehoram is the leader that continually grabs what he wants. The problem is that the more he tries to grab, the more that slips through his fingers. Edom and Libnah simply and successfully rebelled against him. The Philistines and Arabs attacked Jerusalem. They carry off his wealth and members of his family. Finally, Jehoram’s own health deteriorates.
Jehoram never “got it.” He lives a live of futility, going for the gusto. Here is a hard-fisted “leader” who is not a leader.
Many good leaders struggle when those selected or elected become uncooperative; become people with a lack of integrity, and become focused upon their own power. That is the crisis of our own time. Jehoram pushed his title to control. That never works well. Jehoram did not seek the wisdom of God. That also never works well.
What do our privileges reveal about us? When we move up in stature, do we crack the whip? Or, do we wrap ourselves with a towel and bow the knee to wash other’s feet? These are important questions, because each of us are leaders of someone.
When we die, the grave stone will have a dash between the year we were born and the year we died. Both are events. One a beginning of our existence on earth, the other the year we ceased to be a living speaker for Almighty God. When we look at the dash there is a question; a statement. The question is “what have you done in the years of the dash?” The statement is “how are we doing who look at the dash?”
Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. –Mark 10:43-44
Leadership in a time of crisis is always available—if we would but ask our Almighty God!
Just a note:
It is interesting to read the articles that proliferate our web. It seems as though there are mounds of groups we ought to give a shout out for what they are doing in the present pandemic. I agree that we should give honor to the folks who are first responders and those in the ER and in treatment floors at our hospitals. Most of them are not in their professions to demand thankyous. They are in their professions because they sought a position in which they could serve—oft times in a dangerous environment. We should express our thanks. This is personal for me as I have a granddaughter who is working the COVID-19 floor in our local hospital. There are also members of our extended family that are serving in the medical treatment profession.
There are those who are involved in our military, serving our country with a fierce commitment to the protection of our citizens and country. This is also personal. For a long number of years, both Donna and I have relatives who have served in our military. Sons, brothers, uncles, in-laws, and on-and-on. We are personally thankful for them; they gave of themselves to serve others. Some of them died doing so.
I cannot conclude this note without noting there are pastors and church leaders that have been doing remarkable things—not just streaming online. They have kept ministry to others at the forefront of what our churches are to be. Again, it is personal. My pastor and the church leadership is keenly focused on serving others. Our folks have been involved in food ministry in multiple ministries, some have taken time to make facemasks, many have contributed to supporting ministry to the community in need. Financial assistance flows because of giving hearts in the church. Families have had food and supplies delivered to their door.
It is amazing how the ingenuity of people operates in a crisis.
Thanks for reading this blog. You are key in ministry. Also know that your heartfelt prayers do not bounce off your ceilings. God hears them all. He is still in control. Pray for your loved ones, and even those you do not know. There is a blessing in that. When we make known the fame of our Lord, we shout out how great a treasure He is to our heart and soul.
Praise be to God.