Scripture Passage: Judges 11:29-40
Leaders Must Think Before they Speak
Jephthah made a vow unto God saying, “If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.” His only child became the burnt offering.
The lesson here is this; leaders must think before they speak. They must refrain from speaking carelessly. They must not be hasty to give their word. Before making promises they need to consider how it will ultimately affect them and those they lead. A leader who speaks before thinking will always create problems for those he leads. The Bible says, “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything…let thy words be few.”
Prayer: Father, help me to be quick to think and slow to speak.
Scripture Passage: Judges 11:12-28
Great Leaders Know their History
Jephthah was a leader who knew the history of the children of Israel. He said to the king of the children of Ammon, “Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon….God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel…so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites….And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites….even unto Jordan.….whomsoever the Lord our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess….Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me…..” He knew his history.
The lesson here is this; great leaders know their history. A man who lacks adequate knowledge of the history of a people has no business leading them, because the past is the foundation upon which the present and future are built. Leaders must make it their business to know the past of those they lead. Those who don’t know don’t lead.
Prayer: Father, help me to study to know.
Scripture Passage: Judges 11:12-28
Wise Leaders Dialogue First
Although Jephthah was a mighty man of valour, he did not immediately go to war against the children of Ammon. As a wise leader, he tried to dialogue with the king of Ammon. The Bible says; “And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, what hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land?” He was not afraid to fight against Ammon. But he knew there was a better way to resolve the issue. A less expensive and destructive way. He began the dialogue with a question as he tried to understand the grievances of the children of Ammon.
The lesson here is this; wise leaders dialogue first. They know the devastating impact of war on all concerned and so they avoid it by first engaging in dialogue with the opposition. Only when dialogue fails do they go to battle. Wise leaders seek peace and not turmoil.
Prayer: Father, give me a mouth and wisdom for effective dialogue.
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.