The world is full of trends that come and go. Following the leadership of Moses and Joshua, Israel turned to Judges for more than 300 years. In the days of Samuel the prophet, the people of Israel wanted to become like the other nations in the world. Despite his disdain for this decision, the Lord puts this choice into it’s proper perspective. The people aren’t rejecting Samuel as it’s spiritual leader, they are abandoning God so that they can look to an earthly king that they can see.
But it displeased Samuel when they said, Give us a king to govern us. And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken to the voice of the people in all they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them, 1 Samuel 8:6-7.
Before elections were developed to choose a national leader, the elders, the next in line or some sort of council began a search for the next king. In the passage below, this group was misled by physical characteristics. The logical choice for Saul’s replacement was a man with an impressive appearance, height and stature. Unfortunately, this common mistake has led to a demise of leadership, choosing an empty suit over a godly individual.
And he said, Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice. And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and called them to the sacrifice. 6 When they had come, he looked on Eliab [the eldest son] and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him. 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart, 1 Samuel 16:5-7.
Yet, even a man after God’s own heart isn’t guaranteed to be a successful leader. According to 2 Samuel 11:1, idleness caused King David to put God’s will on hold. When David decided to go on vacation for 3 months, he began to fall prey to the lust of his flesh. Instead of changing course quickly with a U-turn back toward God, arrogance and pride prevent many godly leaders from getting right with God. Before this demise of leadership gets any worse, follow the disciples teaching on confession, James 5:16. so that future leaders will rise from the ashes of sin.
by Jay Mankus