The Leaders We Deserve

As we continue in our journey through the book of Judges, things are getting ugly. God keeps raising up leaders to help the people when they are in trouble, but the stock of people from which He can draw is getting pretty poor. As a result, rather than leading the people, these men are merely reflecting them. There’s a lesson here for us: Our leaders are ultimately going to look like us. What kind of leaders are we meaningfully going to be able to produce? Let’s talk about it.

The Leaders We Deserve

Have you ever seen a movie in which a great leader calls a people to rise above themselves and do great things? That’s a pretty broad category of mostly good movies if you think about it. There is one, though, that stands atop the rest: Braveheart. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what scene I’m talking about. The Scottish clans are all lined up on the hill waiting to run into battle against their English oppressors. They are hopelessly outnumbered by the British regulars. And then William Wallace rides up and down their ranks and speaks courage and confidence into their very souls. The most famous passage of the speech ended like this: “And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Judges 11:30-31

“And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, ‘If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.'”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Here we see yet another dark chapter in the record of the judges.  Jephthah was a scoundrel and an outlaw.  When the leaders of Gilead sought him out, they had not sought the Lord.  In fact, although we are told near the end of chapter 10 that the Lord had grown impatient over their misery, He had told them rather explicitly that He was not going to come and save them this time because they had shown over and over again their dogged intention to reject Him.  He does relent a bit and helps the guy they foolishly choose win the battle, but beyond that He does not have a hand in the events here. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Judges 12:7

“Jephthah judged Israel six years.  Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in his city in Gilead.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Most of the Judges receive some kind of a summary statement that the people sought the Lord for the extent of their leadership and then turned away from Him afterwards.  Jephthah just gets this note that he died and was buried in Gilead.  This is a reflection of the continued decline in the spiritual state of the people.  They cry out to God for help, but don’t even both to turn to Him when He answers.  They are reaching a dangerously low point.  I think there are a couple of reasons for this. Read the rest…