When the righteous triumph, there is great rejoicing, but when the wicked come to power, people hide themselves. The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy. Happy is the one who is always reverent, but one who hardens his heart falls into trouble. A wicked ruler over a helpless people is like a roaring lion or a charging bear. A leader who lacks understanding is very oppressive, but one who hates unjust gain prolongs his life. A man burdened by bloodguilt will be a fugitive until death. Let no one help him. The one who lives with integrity will be helped, but one who distorts right and wrong will suddenly fall. Prov 28:12-18 (HCSB)
Leadership is a quality that is a gift from God, never to be taken lightly. Clearly there comes much responsibility and accountability with the authority of any leadership position. God clearly has stated that to whom much is given, much is expected. (Luke 12:48) From the role of teachers in the classrooms to President of our country, leaders must submit their will to God’s will, their ways to God’s ways, and their wisdom to God’s wisdom, seeking counsel not just from men, but God’s Word. This kind of righteous leadership begins with a prayed up, confessed up heart that seeks to be right with God, before he or she can stand successfully in the test of authority before the people they are held as responsible and accountable.
The risk that comes with leadership is clearly seen in this passage, whereby the person who sits in the seat of leadership will be revealed for who they truly are. If they are assuming leadership but have a wicked heart, they will try to conceal their selfish desires, but ultimately will stumble under the strain of the position of leadership. Success will not come to the false leader – if his or her heart is not open to God’s direction, then their hardened heart will bring trouble to not only them but also to whom they are responsible and accountable. A false leader will devour all for his or her personal agenda, rather than feed and prosper the people they have been entrusted to lead and guide.
Look back upon history to prove God’s hand upon the leaders of the people. If they have been wicked and suppressive, focused on selfish gains and schemes, they have been swept into the hall of the infamous. However, for those who have been truly righteous leaders of the people, whether teachers or even Presidents and other high-profile leaders, they have been blessed by the people they have impacted, and God’s hand has guided and protected them as godly, righteous leaders. Their names have endured in the hall of the faithful and famous.
All of us have a leader above us, and are accountable to someone or some group of leaders. Beware of whom we allow to lead us. Do not act like helpless people willing to be devoured as a result of our ignorance or naive trust in others. God expresses His will through His people. In our society the people decide who will lead them, and who they will follow and trust. So I conclude this thought today with this: Who is the greater fool? The fool who assumes the role of leader, or the fool who follows a fool as their leader?
Now as they (Peter and John) were speaking to the people, the priests, the commander of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them, because they were provoked that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in the person of Jesus the resurrection from the dead. – But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about 5,000. The next day, their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem – After they had Peter and John stand before them, they asked the question: “By what power or in what name have you done this?” Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man, by what means he was healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Â Nazarene – whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead –by Him this man is standing here before you healthy. Acts 4:1-10 (HCSB)