Daily D – 1 Kings 12:7
1 Kings 12:7 The older counselors replied, “If you are willing to be a servant to these people today and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your loyal subjects.” (NLT)
1 Kings 12:12-14 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to hear Rehoboam’s decision, just as the king had ordered. But Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!” (NLT)
1 Kings 12:26-28 Jeroboam thought to himself, “Unless I am careful, the kingdom will return to the dynasty of David. When these people go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Temple of the Lord, they will again give their allegiance to King Rehoboam of Judah. They will kill me and make him their king instead.” So on the advice of his counselors, the king made two gold calves. He said to the people, “It is too much trouble for you to worship in Jerusalem. Look, Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!” (NLT)
Great leaders serve. Great leaders serve their people. Poor leaders serve themselves at the expense of their people.
Mark Miller (markmillerleadership.com) wrote a book entitled, Great Leaders Serve. He outlined the core teachings of the book around these five strategic practices:
Great leaders SERVE when they…
- See the Future
- Engage and Develop Others
- Reinvent Continuously
- Values Results and Relationships
- Embody the Values
Rehoboam and Jeroboam each made the same mistake. They came to be served rather than to serve. Each of them turned out to be major losers. It doesn’t take much Bible real estate to tell their sad tales. Their stories are contained in three chapters (1 Kings 12-14). David and Solomon’s stories demanded much more space.
David was a shepherd. He understood servant leadership. The only time you drive sheep is when they are going to slaughter. Shepherds lead at the pace of their sheep. They provide what they need to succeed. They protect them, defend them, and provide clear direction. (See Psalm 23.)
Jesus, the greatest leader of all time, had this to say about leadership to a dozen dudes who each thought they were the greatest:
But Jesus called them together and said,
“You know that the rulers in this world Lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.
But among you it will be different.
Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:25-28 NLT
Today, tomorrow, the next day, and the rest of the week, and for as long as you live, is a good time to practice servant leadership. You and I will never lead like Jesus until we master ourselves and serve those in our care.
On this first workday of this new week, lead like Jesus. Rehoboam and Jeroboam blew it. Jesus still leads the way. Lead like Jesus.
I will learn the rhythms and routines of servant leadership.
Our Father, leadership is a trust, a stewardship given by you to us with a focus on serving those you entrust to us. Empower us to serve with wisdom and grace, character and compassion. Empower us to lead like Jesus. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.