THE NEED FOR TRUE LEADERSHIP
But you should select from all the people able men, God-fearing, trustworthy, and hating bribes. Place them over the people as commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens (Exodus 18:21)
With these words Yahveh gave Moshe the authority to choose leaders from amongst the people. It is important to note the qualifications He saw as being important.
- Leadership from the People. A true leader must emerge from amongst the people. S/he must know what ordinary people go through in their lives, the pressures of daily work, the anxiety which comes from lack of finances, home and family issues. Unfortunately, many of our country’s leaders are not from among the people; they have difficulty relating to the average person and the issues with which they deal. Many of our leaders emerge from families of wealth and privilege, which removes them from day-to-day struggles. Scripture shares with us several leaders who were selected from among their people. For example, Yahveh chose Sha’ul, Saul, for Israel’s first king, even though he was not from the tribe of Yehuda/Judah. Sha’ul was ideal, at the time, for the role Yahveh had for him. Then we find David, a Yehudi/Judean, selected to be the next king and the ancestor of our Messiah, Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus. Both these men came from the people; they lived on the land and they knew what it meant to struggle with, as well as benefit from nature. Read with me, please 1 Samuel 16:12 – With ruddy cheeks, red hair and bright eyes, he was a good-looking fellow. Adonai said, “Stand up and anoint him; he’s the one.”
- People with Ability. Leaders are men and women who have the ability to motivate and encourage those who need these traits and who are able to discipline those who have the skills but lack the desire to use them. All-too-often, leaders tend to be bullies, who use fear and intimidation to motivate their employees. When a bully becomes a political leader, s/he often attracts supporters from amongst the bullies of the province, territory or nation. When the power of such a leader is absolute, then dictating through terror becomes the mantra. Moshe was a man with the ability to lead others; however, it required him to spend forty years in the wilderness, in order to gain the humility, which was a major part of his ability.
- God-fearing. Perhaps this condition might have come first. Without God in our lives, we are left with the adversary to guide us in our roles. Having Yahveh guiding leaders does not make them weak and impotent; on the contrary, God’s leadership is strong and virile. He is the One who guides us through many potential pitfalls and obstacles which all leaders encounter. He allows and encourages us to face these with courage and strength. The Apostles are men we might aspire to imitate in our lives today, as those who feared Yahveh and followed His commandments fully. Listen to Adonai Yeshua’s choosing Nathaniel, as we read in John 1:47 -Yeshua saw Natan’el coming toward him and remarked about him, “Here’s a true son of Isra’el — nothing false in him!”