Consequences of a leader’s influence – Part 1
The impact of leaders on their followers, the consequences of their lives and decisions are incalculable. The examples of Solomon, his son and servant reveal the deadly influence of their leadership over a nation, periods of time and even leading into eternity. Pastors, fathers and mothers are leaders, whose lives will influence untold multitudes in the network of people in many generations and throughout eternity. Therefore, they must “be wise (and) shine as the brightness of the firmament; and… turn many to righteousness.” However, those who turn many to unrighteousness shall suffer as fallen stars forever.
Solomon, Rehoboam and Jeroboam each “cast down the truth to the ground,” “departed out of the way,” misinterpreted the word of God, went into forbidden practices and destroyed the foundation of Israel. Solomon made the people to forget the Lord through his flamboyance and extravagance. The three kings made Israel to go astray from the path that the Lord had appointed. In their days, there was no restoration of any backslider. “They strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness.” They were like a fountain of evil, which flowed to the rest of the nation. On the last day, all leaders who toe their path shall awake “to shame and everlasting contempt.”
Solomon had correctly anticipated that a son could become a source of sorrow on earth and in eternity. He wrote: “He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.” Solomon knew the life of his stubborn, sinful and rebellious son. He knew it was not compulsory for him to be the king. But he put him in the position, not minding God’s prescription for the quality of a person who would be the king.
Rehoboam, unlike Solomon his father, was not grateful to God for being king over Israel. He was proud, pompous and foolishly inconsiderate. “And the king answered the people roughly.” If the heart is rough, the language will be rough; if the heart is not saved, cleansed and sanctified, the tongue will be untamed and terrible. Rehoboam said, “I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.” Thus, he lost the kingdom and everything David had laboured for to keep the nation united. Israel and their king became sinful and provoked the Lord.
Rehoboam passed his wickedness, idolatry, defilement, evil and depravity to Abijam, his son. Asa, his grandson, also continued in his steps. Though he was warned by a prophet to seek the Lord, he preferred to rely “on the king of Syria, and not… on the LORD”; therefore, judgment came on him. The succession of rebellious kings over Judah led to their eventual captivity. “And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.” Multitudes in Judah lost every opportunity of worship and sound relationship with God. Everything Solomon left behind was eventually destroyed and multitudes perished in their sin.
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Kings 12:1-3; Daniel 12:3; 8:10-12; Malachi 2:8,9; Isaiah 9:16; Jeremiah 18:15; 23:14,15; Daniel 12:2; 1 Kings 11:43; 12:12-17; 14:21,22; 15:1-3,8,9; 2 Chronicles 15:2; 16:2-4,7-10,13; 2 Kings 25:8-10,21; Proverbs 17:21,25; 19:13,26; 28:7; Ecclesiastes 2:18-20.
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