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June 2013 - Leadership Lessons from Four Prophets

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Dr. John KlineThis 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.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

June 2013 - Leadership Lessons from Four Prophets
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