And say to him, “Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah.

Isaiah 7: 4

 

This message is the one that the Lord instructed the prophet Isaiah to deliver to King Ahaz of Judah. Now, from my way of seeing things this was truly a strange thing to say to a king, even if it is said at the direct instruction of God. Kings don’t stay in power if they are rash, jittery, fearful, and have weak spirits; yet, those are the issues that this king was to be confronted with. This makes me wonder about our world today and the message that God might send to its leaders. Would He commend them for their clear vision and righteous decisions, or would His words be ones of correction, redirection, and even rebuke?

 

So, in light of this subject, it seems worthwhile to consider our leaders today in contrast with those that we see portrayed in the Bible. God’s Word tells us that leaders of nations and I would submit, in other important areas of life are put there in conformity with God’s will. Throughout history people have been granted leaders who seem to match the nature and the character that the various constituencies desired. We get what we ask for. And throughout this long history, there have been very few, if any, leaders who measured up to the standard of righteousness, justice, and peacemaking that is God’s clearly expressed desire for the conduct of life in this world.

 

So, if I were Isaiah and God were to tell me to go and deliver His word of instruction to a significant leader, what words would the Lord give to me to say? Somehow, I don’t think that they would have changed much over the course of these 2,700 plus years since Isaiah’s conversation with Ahaz. In our world it takes careful consideration, clear vision, courage, and strength of character to set aside reliance upon the means and the methods that human tradition and practice set out as the tools of power, control, and pride. Yet, this is what God tells all of His people to do. We are to stop relying upon ourselves and upon these tools of conquest and of oppression in order to enter into the true peace of God’s Kingdom. Thus, I think that God is saying that I and all of His people need to speak up and tell out leaders to enter into the courageous process of following God and seeking to know His will as they walk in His ways.

 

 

The Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the awesome, and the mighty God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.

Deuteronomy 10: 17

 

O how we desire an honest, just, and trustworthy leader! Someone who continually seeks to do what is best for the people and who does it because it is right in God’s eyes. Yet we also desire that our leaders be powerful enough to get and to hold onto all that we think we need and want. They should be attentive to our expressions of want and they must look the part, too. We don’t want to be represented by people who don’t dress, talk, and portray themselves as we would like to be perceived ourselves. Frequently, we get exactly what we ask for.

 

When compared to God we all fall short of the standard. In God’s eyes there is no one who is greater or lesser in importance, stature, or significance. Christ joined all of us in life in this world, and He allowed Himself to be sacrificed in order to save all of humanity from our lost and broken state of existence. What we can do is accept Christ for who He is: Lord of lords, King of kings, and God the Almighty. He is the singular expression of the way for us to live in the total presence of God. Christ is our true hope, and His real and demonstrable presence in the lives of people should be our benchmark for their capacity to lead justly.

 

Money cannot buy justice. It has no tangible price; yet, it is precious beyond counting. The path to being a just and a compassionate person comes with the price of self. We need to be willing to give up our vain and futile striving for power and risk our identity and our security in order to begin to understand what it means to care for our world as God does. True and effective leadership in this world begins with recognition of God as the one and the only true king. It is founded on absolute and total loyalty to the Father. Righteous leaders must be submissive to Christ. Without that profound and fundamental yielding of heart and mind to God, no one has even the most rudimentary understanding of what it means to lead. We don’t need power for it belongs to God. We don’t require fame for all of the glory belongs to God. We don’t need financial gain for, in Christ, we possess all of the riches of heaven.