Summary: Final message in a 3 part series on leadership
ON A MISSION FROM GOD
Part 3-God’s Kind of Leader
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Pastor Brian Matherlee
Our country needs the right leader. Who would God choose? On what criteria should our choice for president be based? Regardless of the outcome I believe God desires us to make decisions upon clear Biblical principles and be fully involved in the process.
We know from Romans 13 that God establishes government to keep peace, punish evil, and to provide for the organization and general well-being of society.
Solomon is a great person for us to look at to see what we should look for and avoid in our leaders. By looking at his life we can see what principles can guide us in selecting a leader in a little more than 3 weeks.
Traits to embrace: (chapter 3)
1. Look for a leader that recognizes their limitations
a. Solomon’s early years were marked by humility
b. Solomon asked for wisdom above all other things so he could rule wisely.
2. Look for a leader that does what is right
a. Solomon asked for the discernment to know right from wrong
b. Solomon’s prayer was a guide for the people of Israel. The leader of a nation needs a moral compass.
c. In the years that followed
3. Look for a leader that finishes well
a. Solomon did many great things
i. He built the temple
ii. He wrote Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
iii. He raised Israel’s standing and power in the world to a place where they enjoyed peace throughout his reign.
b. But Solomon’s strengths led to his downfall
Traits to avoid:
1. He followed his wisdom
a. For all of his wisdom, Solomon sure made a lot of mistakes.
b. Have you see the bumper sticker that says, “I took an IQ test and the results were negative”? Sometimes very intelligent people can get very negative results on their IQ tests. For instance, people are paid a lot of money to write the things that appear on the packages and products we buy. But a bag of Fritos recently said, “You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.” This warning appeared on a clothes iron: “Do not iron clothes on body.” A bottle of children’s cough medicine said, “Do not drive car or operate machinery after use.” And a bottle of Nytol said, “Warning: may cause drowsiness.” They actually pay people to come up with this stuff.
c. Leaders that think they can figure it all out by themselves end up in a real mess.
d. Solomon married foreign women to solidify alliances with other countries and therefore provide safety for the people. He had forgotten the promise of God to establish his throne forever if he would walk upright. (chapter 9)
e. Our power and might will not establish safety for our country. Only God can really do that. If we follow the Bible we find security. But it has to be more than lip service or something printed on our money.
2. He followed his wives
a. Solomon’s later years were marked by steady spiritual compromise and decline.
b. He loved many women (chapter 11) and in clear violation of the Lord’s command not to intermarry, Solomon did.
c. These relationships turned his heart away from God and Solomon arranged and allowed for sacrifice to pagan gods.
d. None of us can compromise on values. Someone who thinks it is a little sin and has no impact is fooling themselves.
e. Compromise is what has brought our country to this place.
f. *** In 1788 Edward Gibbon completed his work The Decline and of The Roman Empire, and he listed the five reasons why this empire fell:
1. The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.
2. Increasingly higher taxes and the spending of public money for free bread and circuses for the populace.
3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal.
4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people.
5. The decay of religion-faith fading into mere form-losing touch with life and becoming impotent to guide the people.
(Peale, 112, In God We Trust)
Solomon had the potential and the tools to be the greatest leader the world had ever known. But Solomon lost sight of God.
I think we have a clear choice in our election today. We should base our choice not upon who will save the economy or fight wars the best but who has some sense of a moral compass.
I believe the Bible clearly supports the position that it is wrong to vote for any candidate who supports values contrary to Biblical principles. Abortion is wrong. Homosexuality is wrong. Using babies’ cells for stem cell research is wrong. It is ultimately more important who is appointed to sit on the supreme court than who will be in the president’s cabinet positions.
I want to close with prayer for our country and prayer for the will of God in the election.