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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Leadership in crisis (1 Samuel 14:1-3)

In verses 2 and 3 details of Saul's army are given. The number was 600, probably the remnant that were left of his forces after his disastrous behaviour in the previous chapter. No doubt they were disconsolate and apprehensive, but that was not the main problem. The main problem was the two individual leaders, for both of them belonged to families that the Lord had rejected. Saul had been rejected for his disobedience to God’s word given through Samuel, and Ahijah belonged to the family of Eli which had been rejected by God at the beginning of Samuel’s life. There is something striking about this.  

For example, although their rejections were separated by almost a hundred years, both were told by Samuel, the one whom the Lord did not reject. Sometimes God takes a long time to vindicate the words of his servants. 

Second, circumstances did not give the impression that these men had been rejected. They seemed to be in charge, but they were performing roles that would come to an end. Those looking on would not have imagined they were following divinely-rejected leaders.

Third, we see here that when the Lord rejects a person or cause he allows it to continue. This should remind us that the mere continuation of a movement is no proof that God is still with it.

Fourth, did Saul choose Ahijah to replace Samuel? There is not a direct statement for this possibility, but it is the case that Samuel is absent, and perhaps Saul saw the need for the presence of a religious leader. Unfortunately, his discernment on religious issues was not strong, so it would not be surprising for him to have chosen Ahijah. 

There is a big difference between crisis leadership and leadership in crisis. Jonathan was competent to lead in a crisis and we will think about him tomorrow. 

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