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The True King

April 07, 2016
Benjamin Spalink
solomon

Reading through II Chronicles in the Old Testament is a bit depressing.  Rehoboam, Solomon's heir, takes the throne and decides against the better wisdom of Solomon's advisers to exert brutal pressure on the people. All but Judah and Benjamin rebel, and the kingdom is torn in two. Subsequent chapters detail the ensuing rivalry between the two kingdoms and their subsequent risings and failings depending on their leadership.

A theme soon develops. The fate of the nation in the hands of any one king depends almost entirely on one factor - the level of their devotion to God. To those who serve God alone comes blessing, victory and prosperity. To those who waver, who seek other gods, who allow the worship of Ashera poles and worship at the "high places" to continue, disaster eventually comes.  The king sets the pace for the nation.  His devotion to the Lord, his zeal to see that God alone is trusted and served, determines whether the nation thrives or perishes.

Leaders are like kings and have a similarly weighty responsibility - to set up and permit false gods or to topple them.  Leaders set the pace for the groups they lead by setting objectives, culture and mission. The "god" of any organization is its top priority, its chief value, the thing which is prized most of all.  Leaders who make gods of success, numbers, money, influence or human glory lead their organizations into peril. Leaders who topple these false gods in favor of the glory of God being the key motivating factor empower their organizations to move in a positive direction.

Kings and Chronicles have lots of relevance for presidents, generals and kings, but I think they're relevant for all leaders, including pastors and lay-leaders, mothers and fathers.  Do you as a leader serve the Lord wholeheartedly, or are parts of your heart still tolerant of false gods? Worse yet, are you looking to false gods, things like human glory, power, money and numbers, to bring you success?  If II Chronicles is any indication of the way things are, true success in leadership comes only when a leader's heart is entirely driven by the motivation to treat Jehovah as God.

Of course, we all fail. Only one true King exists who lives entirely to the glory of God, and that is Jesus Christ, the son of God. He is the King that leads his people into the life that is truly life, and he does so by living every moment to the glory of God.  By being a part of his nation, his kingdom, we, too, experience the ultimate blessing of being under a leader who protects, cares for and empowers us.  Under his leadership, we flourish. Apart from it we perish.

So the best leadership we as human leaders can offer is this - to lead people under the leadership of Christ. Human "kings" need only submit their kingdom to his, and emulate Jesus' devotion to the Father, to give people in their care the best possible community in which to thrive and flourish.  To live for the glory of God alone, Jesus must be not just our Savior and friend, but our King.  His is the only kingdom that will last and bring salvation.

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