Wednesday, October 2, 2013

When Leadership Fails, God Has Something To Say

The Minor Prophets Speak to Today

 When Leadership Fails

God Has Something To Say


When, like today, the leadership shuts down the government
in the United States, we feel the leadership has failed.
How does that compare to Hosea's day?

In Hosea's Day Multiple Layers of Leadership had Failed.

The Presidential Leadership had failed.  For them that meant the Royal Family.

The Governmental Leadership had failed. For us that is the Congress, the Courts, the Political Classes, and the non-presidential leaders in the the Administrative Branch. Since in Hosea God is addressing the national leadership, I will not list here the state, city, and other sub-levels of government.

In Hosea's day this meant the Political Classes, the Courts, the Tribal Leaders, and the Bureaucrats.

And the Religious Leadership had failed which means the same today as yesterday.

God says,

"Hear this, you priests.
    Pay attention, you leaders of Israel.
Listen, you members of the royal family.
    Judgment has been handed down against you."

Judgment had been handed down against the religious leaders, the secular leaders, and the elites.

That same can be said about the religious leaders, the secular leaders, and the elites in the United States of American.

"Hear this!
Judgment has been handed down
against you."

Why has Judgment been Handed Down against the Leadership? 


1.   You have led the people into a snare!

The emotional bond between the  people of Israel and Judah had been broken. They were considered two different groups though in God's eyes they were one. Their ways of thinking, their cultural expectations, their  religious beliefs had become separated and different. The early history of the undivided nation remained the only thing they held in common, but each held to a different story about that common reality.

"The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another" remains one of the most poignant calls in scripture, but the call had been broken. The desire to express that deep unity disappeared.

God sees the political, religious, and economic divisions which dominate America. He has handed down judgment against our leaders because the bond which used to unite us has been broken. He lays the blame where the divisions grew and where they are maintained - against our leaders.

They have led the American people into a snare and we all are suffering because of it.

2.   You have dug a deep pit to trap that has entrapped the people!

The Acacia Grove refers to a place of sexual prostitution. If the location site cited is the same, it was the place where years before the Israelites first started having sex with Moabite women and thus began the defilement of their nation. It is the place where the leaders in Hosea's day lead the people to culturally and religiously prostitute themselves leaving the one true God like a prostitute leaves her husband.

To the leaders God says, "You are utterly defiled! Your deeds won't let you return to your God. You are a prostitute through and through and you do not know the Lord."

That same accusation stands against the leadership in America, only we have institutionalized the traps in which the people are entrapped. We have reinterpreted our early history to proclaim that our leaders' utter defilement is what the found fathers were seeking.

What are the Characteristics of these Leaders/What will Happen to Them?


1.   They are arrogant (which means self-possessed).

So God says,
                                   "The secular leaders will stumble
                                           under their load of guilt
                                     and the religious leaders, too,
                                            will fall with them."

When they come to buy God's favor they will not find him because he has withdrawn himself from them.

 2.   They have betrayed the honor of the Lord.

What does the honor of the Lord mean? I see a couple meanings. 

First, they have betrayed the honor God originally bestowed upon the nation - a condition as true of America's leaders today as it was of Israel's leaders yesterday. America has enshrined the breaking of honor in a new interpretation the religious freedom clause of our great Constitution.

Second, they have betrayed the honor God says is due to all those in leadership. Paul expounds on this honorific in Romans 13:1-4:

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.  (New King James Version)

Now, I admit most Americans chafe at the idea of giving honor to anyone in leadership in any sphere of  activity whether government, work, church, etc. This has been the American tradition for so long that we don't even know how to answer when we are asked, "What does honor mean?"

But irregardless of the people's understanding of honor, the judgment against the leaders remains this, "You have born children (citizens) that are not his (the Lords). Now your false belief systems will devour you along with your wealth." 

It seems that the "you" in this phrase refers to the leaders, the people, and the nation.

We have a lot to lose!

Photo Credits: 
Collapsed Dry-Stone Wall Some rights reserved by spratmackrel

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