23 June 2011

Jotham's Leadership

2 Chronicles 27:1-2 Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD…

When Uzziah was smitten with leprosy, his son Jotham took over as king.  He reigned for 16 years, and he followed his father in doing what was right, but he didn’t repeat his father’s error. 

If God could say that of us at the end of our lives, who among us wouldn’t be pleased?  In light of that, I found the last statement of verse 2 somewhat surprising. 

2 Chronicles 27:2 …And the people did yet corruptly.

They say that everything rises and falls on leadership, and they’re right…but only to a certain extent. 

In this case, Jotham was a good king who did what was right.  But the people did yet corruptly.  They didn’t follow his lead.  His leadership didn’t produce the desired effect. 

Which is encouraging to know.  Because there are times when as a leader (in your home, in your church, in your class, among your friends) you’re doing everything you possibly know to do to the best of your ability, and it just doesn’t seem to be making a bit of difference.

The first thought is that there’s got to be something wrong with me.  There’s got to be something I’m not doing.  There’s got to be something I am doing that I shouldn’t.  And that’s good.  That should be the first place we look.  But sometimes there isn’t anything wrong.  Sometimes it’s just that you can’t make people be right.  Sometimes it’s not your fault. 

Take salvation, for example.  God has done everything He can to see all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.  That’s His will (1 Timothy 2:4).  He gave His Son (John 3:16).  His Son gave His life (1 Timothy 2:6).  The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men (Titus 2:11).  The free gift of eternal life is available to all who believe (Romans 3:22-24).  But most people reject God’s offer.  Most people die and go to hell -- in spite of all that God has done to prevent it.  And it’s not God’s fault. 

So be all you can be as a leader.  Do all you can do to influence others for righteousness.  But don’t get too discouraged when not everybody follows you as you follow Christ.  Know and understand that there’s only so much you can do.  That every person has a free will and is accountable to God for how they exercise it.  That as a leader, you’ll give an account for how you lead (Hebrews 13:17), but you won’t give an account for how people respond. 

So then every one of us shall give an account of HIMSELF to God (Romans 14:12).