The contemporary person’s mind is etched with leadership since literature on the subject is available in every bookshop. The reader’s intellect is left looking for the fundamental truth of leadership talent and knowledge amid this avalanche of information (Pettus, 2016). How is it possible for the information source to be so distinct yet varied? Do contemporary Christians have a reliable source from which to build their leadership?
Many persons in the Old Testament developed became great leaders throughout their lifetimes in the Bible. It was a group of ordinary individuals who had been given significant roles to guide God’s people in their time of need. “Examples of Moses, David, Solomon, Gideon, Joshua, Nehemiah, Debra, and Joseph were all successful leaders, but the Bible’s notion of leadership goes much beyond the title leader” (Brotzman, 2017). “God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the world, and conquer it; and reign over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28).
In this world, nothing God does is random. In the final analysis, only God is the supreme leader. It is incumbent upon us to submit to His will and obey His commands. The role of a leader requires a high level of mental and physical stamina. Studying biblical leaders and how they carried out God’s purpose for their time is a terrific method to learn about leadership (Pettus, 2016). This study aims to investigate three fundamental leadership concepts and demonstrate why they are relevant to today’s leaders.
The Theme of Humility in the Old Testament
Leaders’ responses to God in the Old Testament are characterized by humility and an emphasis on service to everybody else. Self-awareness leads to humility, obedience to God’s sovereignty, and acceptance of heavenly wisdom’s supremacy over human understanding (Howell Jr, 2003). As a result of their humility, the prophets were able to speak confidently about God’s calling to Israel. The believers benefit from their leader’s humility because he is humble himself. God and His children flourish due to Solomon’s humility before man and God. Those who follow a contemporary leader who knows humility and demonstrates this God-given attitude are better off. Solomon’s humility was evident in both his connection with God and the people he governed (Pettus, 2016). Those entrusted to a leader’s care may be shepherded appropriately when they place themselves under God’s authority.
Today’s virtuous leader can labor side by side with the people, share in their joys and sorrows, and even laugh with people. To be a servant leader, one must have humility, which makes them relational, enabling them to exert influence and motivate their followers. A good servant is familiar with the people they are supposed to be serving. Serving leaders know God and how to communicate His message to inspire others because they know the people they serve as well as they do (Brotzman, 2017). A servant leader serves both the Lord and the individuals he has been given by God. Having a solid connection with God and your people is essential for today’s leaders to make an impact. Not only do they do what God tells them to, but they also persuade others to do the same.
God Uses’ Unqualified’ People
Today, we are bombarded with messages that we are not good enough, unwanted, or hopeless. As a result, it may look like our lifestyles are of little value. Our lives and situations are used by God to accomplish His will. To achieve His purposes for the Kingdom of God and His own glory, he employs every aspect of the being and every condition of our daily existence (Brotzman, 2017). The life of David is a fantastic example of how God uses those who are not qualified for their positions to further His purposes. When the Philistines waged war on the Israelites, David was only a teenager. Goliath, the gigantic warrior of the Philistines, invited Israel to a duel. “We will become your subjects if he can fight and kill me, but we will become your subjects and serve you if I defeat him and kill him.” (1 Samuel 17:9).
When choosing an Israelite, God did not go with the most intimidating or intimidatingly strong-looking candidate. Because he wanted to make David qualified, he picked him; this is a young man who has never served in the military (Howell Jr, 2003). Because he had never served in the military, he had an unwavering belief in God. As long as he put his faith in God, David was sure that he and Israel would be saved. “He was able to defeat Goliath because he was sure that the Lord was with him” (1 Sam 17:50).
Through the flaws, sins, and imperfections, God saw immense confidence and belief in the souls of the people His servants. As the leader of His people, He looked up to Moses (since his childhood involved being an Egyptian prince) (Brotzman, 2017). Moses was loyal and trustworthy even in his terror, despite God’s efforts to persuade him. “A man after God’s own heart, the Lord said of David” (Acts 13:22). Despite his many mistakes, David had a strong belief in God’s forgiving character. He was Israel’s most delicate king because he was ready to confess his faults from the bottom of his heart (Forrest & Roden, 2017). We are told to put our faith in Him, not in our own abilities or abilities of our own. On the other hand, the Bible states that “with God nothing is impossible” (Matthew 19:26). God qualifies His chosen for His intentions, and although we feel unqualified, therefore, we should have confidence in Him.
Strength is Found in Weakness
Weakness was used to conquer and control countries; righteousness was gained; promises were kept; lion’s teeth were stopped; the fire was extinguished; and Samson was made strong by his trust in God (Forrest & Roden, 2017). In contrast to Gideon, Samson falls from strength to frailty. But in both circumstances, they serve a very vital purpose for God.
However, the tale of Gideon shows how a powerful God used a helpless savior to save a rebellious people. The supernatural promises and Gideon’s resistance are the centers of attention. “Why has all this occurred to us?” Gideon asks sarcastically in response to the assurance that “The Lord is with you.” (Judges 6:12–13). Gideon is baffled as to why his people are in such a bad situation. Gideon, too, admits his lack of self-worth. Gideon, like Moses, presents the justifications of inadequacy and unfitness (Howell Jr, 2003). Fearful and destitute, he is the youngest member of his family and a member of a lowly tribe. God seemed to have chosen a weaker vessel (1 Sam 16:7).
Gideon also destroyed the altar after nightfall because he was too afraid of his father’s house and the town’s soldiers to do it during the day. Cowardice is evident from this. A group of 10 men is assembled in the dead of night so that no one can see them enter the temple, where they demolish the altar (Forrest & Roden, 2017). Gideon was inexperienced with the virtue of courage. Because he feels he has a heavenly visitation, he obeys orders.
Throughout history, leadership was never simple since it always involved difficulties more significant than the ruler and required God’s intervention. These leaders are adept at making adjustments and even going back to the fundamentals to ensure that the team is on the same page. In other cases, they stand aside for a new captain who can guide them through the upcoming season. It needs a connection with God, perseverance, and becoming a servant in thought and action to establish God’s Kingdom. Delighted that God never forces a leader to accomplish things alone.
Asked by Jesus, “I will ask the Father, and He shall grant you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16). To carry out God’s intentions and purposes, leaders have access to the Spirit of God. In a godly way, as we carry out our leadership responsibilities, may we witness how God’s kingdom is being expanded, not to our honor but to that of God. We should be thankful and repent whenever we are on the right or wrong, but always maintain our connection with Jesus on the course, persevere in the journey, support those God has assigned to us as leaders, and retain the faith. As virtuous leaders, this is how we will affect the world today.
Pettus, D. (2016). Leadership in Old Testament Hebrew. A Biblical Analysis of Leadership.
Brotzman, E. (2017). Godless vs. godly: Leadership in the Pentateuch. Biblical leadership: Theology for the everyday leader, 41-54.
Forrest, B., & Roden, C. (Eds.). (2017). Biblical leadership: Theology for the everyday leader. Kregel Academic.
Howell Jr, D. N. (2003). Servants of the servant: A biblical theology of leadership. Wipf and Stock Publishers.