Focal Passage: Micah 3:1-12
Bernie Madoff was an entrepreneurial businessman who famously and fraudulently created the biggest Ponzi schemes in history, estimated at over 50 million.
He had revealed to his brother and two sons, who worked for his firm, that his investment-advisory business was a fraud and nearly bankrupt. Madoff’s sons turned in their father to federal authorities, who arrested him the next day and he was later given a sentence of 150 years in prison. His brother would spend 10 years in prison and one of his sons would commit suicide.
Bad leadership has catastrophic consequences, not only for the leader, but for many more! John Maxwell has often said that “leadership is influence, and influence is adding value to people’s lives.”
No leader is perfect of course, but godly leaders have been called to add spiritual value to the lives of those they influence. Godly leaders do hold others accountable, but they do not blind their own eyes to increase sorrow and oppression for those in their care.
A common thread among nations that struggle with poverty and crime is corrupt leadership. Micah rebukes the sins of certain cities guilty of oppression, violence, corruption, bribery, robbery, dishonesty, pride.
Instead of caring for God’s flock as good shepherds, they have butchered them for food. Corrupt leadership comes with a huge price tag: the downfall of a nation.
Be grateful we live on the other side of hope. Micah has been called to speak the unpopular word of judgment, but Micah preaches for the sake of justice, not for selfish gain. One thing that stands out about these prophets is there is so often a stinging word of judgment.
There are, of course, glimpses of hope. But these little pictures of hope are pointed out for the future, a future they won’t experience during their life on earth!
(1) We don’t always appreciate their task. Being commissioned to pronounce what is unpopular would be a difficult task for anyone. (2) We should be grateful any proclamation we have of judgment is complemented by our hope in a risen Jesus! We are living on the right side of hope, so the Christian message is not merely doom and gloom.
Godly leaders do what is right, even if it costs them. Godly leaders don’t need or obsess over control. Godly leaders know doing what is right, even when it costs them, and sacrificing for the mission is far better than control. Being in control is not sacrificial leadership. Giving up control for something good and right is BETTER!
At the end of the American Revolution, many people thought Washington would retain the reins of power to become the leader of the new nation, or even king. King George III of England reserved his greatest compliment for the adversary he never met. On hearing that George Washington would resign his commission and retire from power, the King said, “If he does that, it would make Washington the greatest man in the world.”
The only hope of a perfect system of government is the coming of God’s own King. The world has tried to find it in all directions: absolute monarchy and limited monarchy, democratic republics and totalitarianism.
One day, all emperors, kings, or presidents will bow down to the King of Kings! B&R