Today’s reading: 2 Chronicles 28-31.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. —John Maxwell
Leadership. There are as many definitions as there are leaders. It may be hard to define, but you know it when you see it. King Hezekiah takes the throne at 25 years of age and puts on a workshop in leadership for Bible readers. His vision and direction bring the nation of Judah back from unfaithfulness to consecrated devotion and worship.
A leader knows the value of visuals. Hezekiah’s first action was to reopen the doors of the temple. His father, Ahaz, had shut them when he abandoned Jehovah and bowed his knees to idols. By opening the temple, even though the priests and Levites were far from ready to worship, Hezekiah was letting the people know that a new day had begun. He was determined to restore the worship of the LORD.
A leader communicates clear expectations. 2 Chronicles 29:5-11. Hezekiah told the worship leaders exactly what had gone wrong, and what was now needed. He briefly described the history of the nation’s transgression: their fathers abandoned God, failed to worship him, did evil, and in return suffered God’s judgment. Next he outlined the steps that would be taken to restore the nation: purify and consecrate themselves, cleanse and consecrate the temple, and establish a new covenant with the LORD.
A leader celebrates victories. 29:20-36. When the temple was successfully returned to service, Hezekiah led the people in joyful worship.
A leader retains important traditions. 30:1-3. The Passover feast had been abandoned along with the worship of God, but Hezekiah knew its importance and restored it quickly.
A leader pushes on despite opposition. 30:10-13. Hezekiah exhorted all the people, both in Israel and Judah, to come to Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover. Chronicles says that the people “scorned and ridiculed” his messengers. Still, the king pressed on with his reforms, and many joined him.
A leader shows grace. 30:18-20. Many of the people who participated in the Passover did so without the required preparation. They probably didn’t know better. Hezekiah didn’t insist on strict legalism but accepted their good faith efforts and asked God to do the same. And God answered his prayer.
A leader encourages. 30:22. The king made sure to speak words of encouragement to the worship leaders as they made progress in the work.
A leader contributes, doing what he asks others to do. 31:3-7. Hezekiah was the first to give from his own belongings for the offerings, and the people responded and gave generously.
A godly leader sees results. 31:20-21. “This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.”
Image by pedrosimoes7 on Flickr, CC by2.0