On Leadership

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Before long there will be heard throughout the planet a formidable cry, rising like the howling of innumerable dogs to the stars, asking for someone or something to take command.

José Ortega y Gasset

About the time Ortega y Gasset made this statement, the people of Germany, fed up with chaos, were crying out for leadership, for order. They got order. They got Adolf Hitler.

Now we hear the same cry again, this time from the pages of American news media. Once again, the world faces economic chaos, and once again people want strong leadership—someone to take command.

There is a certain perversity about all this. It has only been a few short years since we were crying out for less government, less regulation, less interference with our freedoms. Now, when we face a crisis, where do we look for help, for leadership? To government, of course. Why didn’t Reagan do something about the stock market crash, people ask? Why was there no leadership from the White House?

The answer is simple: We, the people, have been systematically undermining those who lead us, and intimidating those who want to try. Presidential candidates have been dropping like flies and even the candidates still in the race are jumpy.

Whose fault is all this? Right now, everyone is blaming the press—we even have them blaming themselves. But surely this too is perverse. Why should we jump on the press for doing what we pay them to do? If we did not care that a supreme court nominee used to smoke pot, the press wouldn’t have cared either.

We are entering one of the greatest transition periods in the history of man. There is major change afoot, economically, politically, militarily. Old enemies are finding things in common, and old allies are experiencing strained relationships. There is a real possibility that NATO will come apart. The leader of the Soviet Union is beginning to take his message to the people of the United States.

Why have we have chosen this time, of all times, to take an axe to our national leadership?

There is a God who rules in the kingdom of men, and He does step in from time to time (Daniel 4:17). There are laws that affect human behavior, and sooner or later they exact their toll.

This has happened before. There was another time and another place where a people faced this same situation. They were fast approaching the most critical time in their history, and they found themselves bereft of effective leadership. They had been warned. God had sent them a prophet to warn them that he would take away their best people just when they needed them most. The people were the people of Jerusalem and the prophet was Isaiah.

Behold, warned Isaiah, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah…the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counselor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator (Isaiah 3:1–3). He goes on to state that they would be governed by children and that when they asked a real man to govern, he would demur saying, I have no remedy…do not make me the leader of the people (verse 7, NIV).

Why would God do this? What sort of conditions prevailed in that society that led to this sorry state of affairs? Actually, they are fairly well defined in the prophecy. They can be listed as follows:

  1. It was a nation that had turned their backs on God (Isaiah 1:2–4) and many of the people had turned to eastern, occult religion (2:6).
  2. They were experiencing unparalleled prosperity (2:7), and had come to idolize their wealth—the works of their own hands (2:8).
  3. They had experienced a massive buildup in military hardware (horses and chariots, 2:7), but they were not winning wars (1:7).
  4. They had experienced a sexual revolution with widespread immorality and sodomy. There was an active gay community that flaunted its homosexuality (1:10, 21; 3:9). Consequently, disease and sickness became major problems (1:6).
  5. They were religious in a formal sense, but it had not changed their lifestyle (1:11–17).
  6. They were a violent people (1:15, 21).
  7. What leadership there was had become corrupt (1:23).

Sound familiar? It should. It could easily be a description of the United States of America in 1987. And it is, in reality, an end-time prophecy (Isaiah 2:10–12).

In the final analysis, the leadership of a nation is a reflection of its people: laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward (1:4).

What do you see?


Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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Image Credits: Joel Montes de Oca