In one of John C. Maxwell’s books, he mentions that ” everything rises and falls on leadership”. The first time I read this quote I did not quite agree, I thought that surely people have a role and they cannot be left off the hook and we give the full responsibility to the leader. John C. Maxwell further says ” Leadership is influence”, this is when it suck in and I agreed with him that indeed leaders have the influence and authority to determine the direction of their people and subsequently their communities.
For the past months, I was spending time in 1st and 2nd Kings in the old testament for my morning devotions. I like to keep inter changing the testaments so that when a the book in the old testament the next should be from the new testament book and back so that I keep in perspective of the message of the gospel. However when I finished 1st Kings, I realized that 2nd Kings was in a way connected to 1st Kings so I needed to start on it so as not to lose the flow.
For the first time I learned that the Kingdom was divided into Israel and Judah. I imagined how years later these two would be enemies forgetting that they are brothers. I think this is how the world behaves when we focus on our differences and highlight them instead of celebrating life with one another because we are all human beings. We forget and start thinking one tribe is better than the other, and therefore choose to relate and favor one against the other, the same for race or gender forgetting that essentially we are all; Spirit, Soul and body.
Two insights that I gleaned from these two books;
- Everything rises and falls on leadership. The Kings had influence on the people and could determine which direction the community took. The bible kept mentioning how some Kings did everything evil in Gods eyes and led people to worship at the high places whereas other times a King would do right in the eyes of God, destroy the high places and lead people to worship God. If a King was hard working with wisdom, he created wealth for the Kingdom only for the next King to squander it. One King would choose ‘his wars’ carefully using wisdom to create alliances and listening from God through the prophets whereas another would not. Whatever the decision of a King, it affected the people directly. Your leader matters because they make ‘life and death’ decisions on your behalf.
- God is committed to His people and it is never His wish that any should perish. We see this in 2 Pet 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” NKJV. This truth keeps coming out as he pleads with Israel to leave the high places and stop worshiping gods that are nonexistent and causing pain to them, practicing rituals like passing their children through the fire. Why would a god who loves you ask you to burn your children? In all this God keeps hope alive and keeps inviting them to himself through the prophets to choose life. He still does this today, inviting us to choose life, because what the world offers is fleeting and leads to destruction. He invites us today in John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they many have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”. NKJV
Have you read 1st and 2nd Kings before? What insights jumped off the pages for you? Please share in the commend box.