Who Would You Want as Leader?
Today someone knocked on my door to ask my opinion on political candidates and platforms. So it begins. The pollsters are seeking to get input from the average person about their concerns, their preferences, and their attitudes. Will the pollsters discover the pulse of the voters and that of the nation?
Questions arise about threats from Middle Eastern nations, terrorist groups, and religious extremists? The old animosity between nations continues to be directed toward each another after millennia. But the distance of 7000 miles for the United States is no longer enough to protect the citizens of the United States. Nine/eleven proved that.
Who can provide wise leadership to keep Americans safe at home and abroad? Pollsters want to know what the average citizen seeks from governmental leadership to protect our homeland physically and financially?
History Explains the Present Problem
Scripture provides insight into the two facets of this dilemma: the Abrahamic religions are caught in sibling rivalry. Abraham’s sons Ishmael and Isaac believed in the God of Abraham. Islam called Him Allah; Judaism called Him Jehovah. However, modern Islam is quite different from the traditional beliefs of Ishmael. Christianity is the third Abrahamic religion and believes that Jesus was the promised Messiah in fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures of Judaism.
The second facet of the conflict arises from the nations of Palestine or the Canaanites of Biblical times. That conflict is about who is rightful owner of the land. The nations who were there before Abraham fought one another to maintain their territorial boundaries that included their rights to the wells, springs, and any other water sources. When Israel, through God’s promise to Abraham, claimed Canaan as their “Promised Land,” the nations of Canaan fought Israel for possession of the land.
The United States has supported Israel’s ownership of Canaan for many years. Because of U.S. alignment with Israel, the Palestinian nations see the United States as enemies. With advances in technology, distance is no longer a protection for the U.S. from terrorism by these nations. Terrorism seeks to intimidate the U.S. and make America away from defending Israel.
Imagine a Pollster in Ancient Israel
“Good day. We are canvassing the neighborhood to find how satisfied you are with the political leadership of the judges since entering Canaan at Jericho.”
The person surveyed at the time of Samuel was likely to respond in this manner. “Samuel is getting old. His sons don’t measure up to Samuel’s leadership skills. They are corrupt. We have seen the nations around us have kings who represent them with mighty armies. God does not appoint judges until problems arise, then Jehovah provides a leader to defend Israel. If Jehovah gave us a king, there would be a natural lineage of leadership from their sons. I am for a monarchy, “the king party,” not a theocracy administrated by “the judge party.”
Humanity wants the tangible, the concrete reality of another human being who can lead as a king with much experience to pass on to his son who will rule after him. The judges were identified by the Creator to lead at the times of need. “How can we know if or when Jehovah will name a judge to rule. At least a king would assure leadership for coming generations.”
“The judges were not always brave, look at Gideon. Judges were not always humble, look at Samson. A king has to be strong, assertive, attractive, and of impressive stature.”
God did not merely concede to human wishes, but he does give them a king. God used Samuel, the judge leading Israel in that day to identify and anoint Israel’s first king, Saul.
The means by which God selected the first king of Israel was amazing. All the human qualities of what the populace wanted were there.
- Humility – Saul, the candidate, describes himself as an unlikely choice because of his heritage. He was a Benjamite, the smallest of the tribes of Israel and his family wasn’t the richest in the tribe of Benjamin.
- Stature – Saul was a very tall man. Height and strength would make him appear a formidable foe on the battlefield. Not only did he tower head and shoulders over his fellow Israelites but also the soldiers of the surrounding nations.
- Handsome – Saul was about 30 years old at the beginning of his reign and a handsome married man with a 15 year old son. Saul had begun training his son Jonathan in warfare.
- Compliance to Authority – Saul and his aide met Samuel while searching for donkeys from his father’s herd. As Saul and his servant neared Samuel’s hometown, Saul was ready to go home without the donkeys so that his absence would not worry his father. His servant urged him to at least meet Samuel, the seer who might have insight from God where the donkeys were. On meeting Samuel, Saul listened and followed Samuel’s instructions.
- Openness to Hear God Through Samuel – After Saul sent his servant home at Samuel’s request, Saul was instructed about what God would reveal to him about His plan for him to be anointed king. Saul shared some of these events with his uncle when he returned home. However, Saul kept silent about what Samuel said he was not to share.
Next time we will look more deeply into Saul’s character and leadership as guidelines for leadership qualities. Think about what leadership traits God would desire in you if you had the opportunity to serve in either a political or spiritual capacity. What I look forward to show you is how amazing was God’s sovereign plan on behalf of His people.
Thank you for reading my blog.