Overthrowing Kings

The kings of Israel occasionally got it right.  Most often, however, they seem to have existed to provide ongoing leadership lessons and challenges to our faith and practice.  Today we reflect on what to do when we want to overthrow the government…

8 In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah, Zechariah son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned six months. 10 Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against Zechariah.

13 Shallum son of Jabesh became king in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah, and he reigned in Samaria one month. 14 Then Menahem son of Gadi went from Tirzah up to Samaria. He attacked Shallum son of Jabesh in Samaria, assassinated him and succeeded him as king.

23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekahiah son of Menahem became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned two years. 25 One of his chief officers, Pekah son of Remaliah, conspired against him.

27 In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah son of Remaliah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twenty years. 30 Then Hoshea son of Elah conspired against Pekah son of Remaliah.
2Kings 15:8, 10, 13-14, 23, 25, 27, 30

Being a king in Israel was dog-eat-dog, wasn’t it?  There seemed to always be someone waiting in the wings to take advantage or manipulate the situation or conspire to overthrow and seize power.  And this is in the kingdom of God.  Shouldn’t the throne in the kingdom of God be treated with more respect than we see here?

What a reflection of our world.  Power and position is often more important than mission isn’t it?

In other words, our place in the achievement of mission can become more important than the mission itself if we aren’t careful.

These guys were not content to serve under another as king.  They were not content with the will of God regarding the leadership of his people.  “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God,” (Romans 13:1).

That’s difficult when we don’t like the boss or respect the chair or when we think it’s our turn.

If you are a follower of Christ, God is the one who calls the leadership shots (however this happens – by God’s perfect will or by his permissive will).  We aren’t in a position of revolt in the name of the Lord.  Not anywhere in our North American context.  Like them or not, our North American political leaders are all hovering, politically speaking, quite close to each other.  I would actually say they are quite close to each other in spiritual leadership also.

There is a risk that some might think I am speaking of protests underway today or the election of a specific person in the USA.  Not so.  Just as many people are up in arms about Canadian leadership, both federally and provincially.  And many people are upset about the leadership in their own place (whether employment or service organization or church, etc).  So what do we do today and tomorrow?

Pray.  Pray for our leaders to be godly people who are pursuing God’s best and the mission of Jesus.  And if you are blessed to live or serve under someone who follows Jesus, pray with thanksgiving for them.

Act. I heard an idea the other day that we should never accept what happens as the new normal.  To do so would be defeat.  If we have conviction from God that things should be different, we should act and influence wherever we can toward that mission-outcome.  I have found that hardly ever have I not been able to have a positive influence when I invest my passion and gifting and effort into acting toward God’s plan and methods which honour him.

Skill Build. What are you doing to prepare for the opportunity that God will give you if and when you are ready to lead?  We do not know if we will ever get the opportunity to step into leadership, yet if we are not ready, we do a disservice to ourselves and the gifting of God.  Ephesians 4 speaks of our development as people within the body of Christ toward maturity.  It’s that kind of approach in all areas of our lives which will ensure we are not left on the sidelines criticizing and whining about what is happening.

Trust. Finally, don’t take matters into your own hands. Don’t manipulate or conspire to have your way.  A trusted friend of mine helped me see that the right way is always superior to my way.  If those ways intersect, blessings.  Don’t pursue your own way.  Trust God’s timing and his power to provide for his people and his plan.

The kings of Israel occasionally got it right.  Most often, however, they seem to have existed to provide ongoing leadership lessons and challenges to our faith and practice…


Marc Kinna


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