Scripture Passage: Judges 11:1-11
People Seek Leaders with Answers to their Problems
Jephthah was a mighty man of valour but his brothers drove him away for being the son of a harlot. However, when the children of Ammon made war with Israel, the elders of Gilead went to Tob to fetch Jephthah to be their head. They made him leader because he had the answer and was the answer to their problem; a mighty man of valour and war strategist who would lead them to victory against Ammon.
The lesson here is this; people seek leaders with answers to their problems. Everyone has problems, individually and collectively. And when people decide to follow a man or woman, it is usually because they see in them an answer to their problem, a solution to whatever crisis they may be faced with. Therefore, leaders must be able to proffer solutions to the problems that face those they lead. Like it or not, leaders are solution providers.
Prayer: Father, make me a solution provider.
Scripture Passage: Judges 11:1-3
Leaders Make the Best of Every Situation
Jephthah was a mighty man of valour who would lead Israel in a battle against the children of Ammon but to his family he was the son of a harlot and so they drove him away. Jephthah left his father’s house, left his comfort zone, and familiar territory and went to a land called Tob. This was a place where he knew no one and had no connections. It was a difficult place to be especially since he had to survive but here he became leader as a group of vain men gathered themselves to him and went out with him. He turned around a negative situation.
The lesson here is this; leaders make the best of every situation. Like everyone else, they have their challenges but unlike everyone else they are able to make the best of whatever life throws at them per time. They know just how to turn every situation to their advantage.
Prayer: Father, show me how to make the best of every situation.
Scripture Passage: Judges 9:23-55
Leaders Who Destroy Others for Their Ambition are Usually Destroyed by Their Ambition
Shortly after Abimelech became king, he fell out with his mother’s brethren in Shechem and a battle ensued. This war led to the destruction of Abimelech. The Bible says; “And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech’s head, and all to brake his skull. Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, a women slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.”
The lesson here is this; leaders who destroy others for their ambition are usually destroyed by their ambition. The cure to a destructive ambition is to have a servant’s heart; a heart that seeks to be of service to others. A heart that is willing to make personal sacrifices for the betterment of others. This is true leadership. This leads to greatness and not destruction.
Prayer: Father, give me a heart to serve others.
Scripture Passage: Judges 9:1-6
Insecure Leaders are Destructive
After the death of Gideon, Abimelech, his son, went to Shechem to meet with his mother’s brethren because he wanted to become a king. The men of Shechem agreed to Abimelech’s request and money was given to him with which he hired vain people who followed him to his father’s house where they murdered in cold blood all Gideon’s sons save one, named Jotham. And Abimelech was made king, just as he desired. Abimelech killed seventy sons of his father because of his ambition to become a king. He was no doubt an insecure man consumed with an ambition.
The lesson here is this; insecure leaders are destructive. They destroy the lives of those they lead because they have no value for anyone’s life. They are also not truly interested in others. They love things and seek ways to use people to get them. They are consumed with self and will go to any length to please self. They reduce those they lead.
Prayer: Father, make me a secure leader.
Scripture Passage: Judges 6:25-27
Leaders are Sometimes Afraid
As soon as Gideon was called to lead, he received an instruction to cut down the altar of Baal which belonged to his father and the grove by the altar. In its place, he was to build an altar unto the Lord and offer his father’s bullock as a sacrifice, using the wood of the grove he had cut down. This was a dangerous mission. Gideon was afraid, and rightly so. The Bible says, “And so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.” He was afraid but his fear did not stop him.
The lesson here is this; leaders are sometimes afraid. And this is okay, because they are human. However, leaders do not allow their fears stop them from taking action. Leaders act in spite of their fears. They feel the fear and they do it anyway.
Prayer: Father, give me faith in place of fear.
Scripture Passage: Judges 6:1-15
Leadership Lies Within and Not Without.
Gideon assumed that he required some external force to deliver Israel from the Midianites. He did not believe that he was enough to save Israel. He said to the angel, “Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? Behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” Gideon looked to external entities but the potential to save Israel did not lie in those things. The potential lay on his inside. Inside of him lay the ability to strike Midian as one man. He was enough.
The lesson here is this; leadership lies within and not without. It is what is on the inside that makes (and unmakes) a leader and not what is on the outside. If a man or woman has the qualities that make a leader, their background, social status and financial capability become irrelevant. Those things are good but, when the chips are down, it takes a heart to lead.
Prayer: Father, give me a heart to lead.
Scripture Passage: Judges 6:1-14; 7:15-21
Vision Brings the Leader Out of Hiding.
Gideon was a great leader and he would deliver Israel from bondage to the Midianites. However, until he received a vision, the Bible says, “Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress to hide it from the Midianites.” Without a vision, albeit Gideon had the potential to be a leader and deliverer, he remained in hiding. When vision came, he went down to the camp of the Midianites with three hundred men and the Bible says, “…and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.” Vision made him a terror to what had initially terrorised him.
The lesson here is this; vision brings the leader out of hiding. And without a vision and the pursuit of the same, a leader is really no different from the people. It is vision and the active pursuit of vision that separates leaders from followers. Vision pursuit makes leaders.
Prayer: Father, give me a vision and the grace to pursue same.
Scripture Passage: Judges 6:1-14
Without a Leader the People are Impoverished
Israel sinned against God and was sold into the hands of the Midianites for a period of seven years. Whenever the people sowed, the Midianites and the Amalekites came against them and destroyed the increase of the earth and left them nothing. The Bible says, “They entered into the land to destroy it.” This destructive pattern continued until a leader emerged named Gideon. He was raised to smite Midian as one man.
The lesson here is this; without a leader the people are impoverished. Israel was impoverished in Egypt for 430 years without a leader, then Moses appeared and in one night gold and silver was transferred from the Egyptians to the Israelites. Israel was impoverished until Gideon showed up. People are always impoverished without a leader because the leader carries the vision and without vision struggles continue.
Prayer: Father, give me a vision to liberate those I lead from ruin.
Scripture Passage: Judges 3:9-11
Leaders Emerge Because of a Need
Having sinned against God, the children of Israel found themselves in bondage with an obvious need for freedom. As was the case when they were in Egypt, a leader was raised to meet that need. The Bible says, “And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel………..and the Lord delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. And the land had rest forty years.” Othniel became a leader because of Israel’s need.
The lesson here is this; Leaders emerge because of a need. The emergence of a leader is always tied to a need of the people. Needs give birth to leaders. Those who will lead are those who are able to see needs and rise to meet them.
Prayer: Father, help me to see the needs around me and rise to meet them.
Scripture Passage: Judges 3:9-11
Leaders are raised by God
The Bible says, “And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the Lord delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. And the land had rest forty years.”
The lesson here is this; Leaders are raised by God. No leader, good or bad, rises to lead without God’s approval, because the powers (or authorities) that be are ordained of God. The leader who forgets this, and abuses the opportunity, is soon reminded that God puts down one and raises up another. He also learns the hard way that God rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomsoever He wills.
Prayer: Father, help me to remember that I am a leader only because of you.