This month we’ll look at leadership lessons from four of the shorter
books of prophecy: Joel, Amos, Obadiah, and Jonah.
Joel: Leaders set the right example. The book of Joel
is rich in prophecy and best known by Christians for Peter’s use of it
to explain Pentecost (Acts 2:14-21). But Joel’s writings also had an
immediate message. A plague of locusts had descended on the Southern
Kingdom of Judah and in a few hours, stripped everything bare. Joel
seized the opportunity to proclaim this plague as a punishment for sin
and a prophecy that the nation would fall if things didn’t change. He
called on the leaders to set the right example and gather all the people
of the land together to prepare for the Day of the Lord (1:13-14). The
best example of right leadership is leaders setting the right example.
Amos: Leaders must be alert to outside forces. Martin Luther
King, Jr. captured the essence of the book of Amos when he quoted from
5:2, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty
stream.” Amos demonstrated his grasp of outside forces upon the nation
as he used what can be described best as a whirlpool moving in from
Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, toward Judah and Israel.
Leaders must know the effect of happenings outside their own
organization and then prepare (4:12).
Obadiah: Leaders will be treated the way they treat others. In
verse 15, Obadiah tells the Moabites that as they have done, it will be
done to them. Certainly this statement reminds both leaders and
followers to remember: Follow the Golden Rule—“Treat others the way you
want to be treated.”
Jonah: Leaders must assume responsibility. We can learn many
lessons from the book of Jonah, but none more important than what
happens when leaders try to escape responsibility. Winston Churchill is
often quoted for saying, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” We
might also say, “The price of leadership is responsibility.”
Four short books of prophecy, but four big lessons for leaders.