Have you ever served shifty leaders—men or women who despite the problems faced somehow evaded responsibility? I am reminded of politicians. While there are certainly good and competent politicians, too often it seems that the majority of our elected leaders spend more time blaming the other party for the country’s misfortunes than in working to fix the crisis. Blaming others is merely attention shifting—a flawed technique applied by weak leaders. Unfortunately, we feed weakness by allowing those we vote in office to create and perpetuate a system that rewards them with lifetime perks and privileges. No matter what their convictions, once elected their need to stand answerable before us in fixing what is broken is compromised.
There is no corrupt-free government or form of governance in the world. Yet even in the darkest of times, a leader may emerge who devotes his authority and applies his power to doing what is right regardless of the cost. Meet King Josiah. Seated on Judah’s throne at the age of eight, he ruled for thirty-one years. Around 623 in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, the high priest Hilkiah while repairing the temple, discovered the Book of the Law. He showed the king’s secretary Shaphan, Moses’ writings from God. Moved by the contents, Shaphan went to the king and while reading to him from the Law, Josiah became so upset he tore his own clothes. The 26 year-old ruler recognized that his nation was guilty of disobeying God’s edicts (2 Kings 22:13).
Josiah, knowing his father and grandfather were corrupt could have rationalized that he was not accountable for Judah’s problems. He could have blamed the people for worshiping idols and disobeying God. He could have criticized the priests for failing to uphold their duties and told them to fix the problem. They ignored and lost the Book in the first place! Instead, he made himself answerable. When he tore his robe he took personal responsibility. What he does next is inspiring!
2 Kings 23:2—Then the king went to the LORD’s temple with all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, as well as the priests and the prophets—all the people from the youngest to the oldest. As they listened, he read all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the LORD’s temple. Next, the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant in the presence of the LORD to follow the LORD and to keep His commandments, His decrees, and His statutes with all his mind and with all his heart, and to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book; all the people agreed to the covenant.
Lord, raise up Josiahs. Empower us with courage to do what is right and not to make excuses or shift blame. Help our leaders to be morally fit, answerable problem solvers!
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the "Click here to receive weekly devotionals" box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)