Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth. (1 Kings 13:33-34)
Christian leadership is paradoxical. Whereas secular leaders seek to maintain authority and power, the goal of the spiritual leader is to steward those things rather than holding them with clenched fists. The spiritual leader understands that leadership is given by the Lord – He’s the One who appoints leaders, and He’s the One who removes them from power.
In the cases of both Rehoboam and Jeroboam, these men lost their leadership roles because of their efforts to keep them. Isn’t it funny how that worked out? They fought so hard to keep something that wasn’t theirs in the first place, and in the end they lost it.
If only Rehoboam had listened to the older men who suggested that he become a servant of the people rather than a source of stress to the people. If only he had listen and hadn’t sought to maintain his power. Or if only Jeroboam had remembered that the Lord appointed him as a new king in Israel and that it was only by the Lord’s grace that he received such a position, then he wouldn’t have been tempted to make the false altars and to cling too tightly to his power.
The difference between David and these two men is that David understood that leadership was a privilege – a stewardship – it was only for a time, and it didn’t belong to him.
If you’re a leader, don’t forget that your position isn’t a guarantee; it’s a privilege.
God has given it to you for a period of time. Don’t waste the opportunity to lead, and don’t be selfish. Seek to serve those whom you’re leading, and the Lord will bless your efforts.
Father, leadership is a privilege that You give only to those whom You choose. In whatever leadership roles I am privileged to serve, please keep me from thinking that I need to fight to keep my power. Let me, instead, seek to empower others to serve You to their fullest capacities. Be pleased with my leadership, and keep me ever cognizant that You are the One who has allowed me into my place of service.