Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 132 - The Cost of Leadership; 2Sa 16:5-14.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 132 - The Cost of Leadership; 2SA 16:5-14.


Announcements / opening prayer:



9. The Cost of Leadership. The toll of leadership is heavy, to aspire to it is to be willing to pay a higher price than the common man.


The cost of leadership is criticism. Humility will never be more on trial than when criticism comes.


We can take a great lesson from David when he was greatly humbled by the Lord and suffered the loss of his kingdom to his son Absalom. Though it is a part of the discipline that was promised to David's family, "I will cause your own household to rebel against you" (2SA 12:11), Absalom's revolution is thoroughly evil.


2SA 16:5 When King David came to Bahurim, behold, there came out from there a man of the family of the house of Saul whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he came out cursing continually as he came.


2SA 16:6 And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David; and all the people and all the mighty men were at his right hand and at his left [600 + men].


2SA 16:7 And thus Shimei said when he cursed, "Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed, and worthless fellow!


2SA 16:8 "The Lord has returned upon you all the bloodshed of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. And behold, you are taken in your own evil, for you are a man of bloodshed!"


David has not committed any murder against the house of Saul, in fact, he killed the man who killed Saul and greatly mourned the death of Saul and his son Jonathan, 2SA 1:19-27.


2SA 16:9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over now, and cut off his head."


2SA 16:10 But the king said, "What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah [Joab, his brother, probably joined Abishai]? If he curses, and if the Lord has told him, 'Curse David,' then who shall say, 'Why have you done so?'"


2SA 16:11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, "Behold, my son who came out from me seeks my life; how much more now this Benjamite? Let him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him.


2SA 16:12 Perhaps the Lord will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day."


It is the arrogant, self-justifying sinner who receives the severe discipline of God. When God looks upon the guilt of a humble sinner, He will also, as a just and merciful God, avert the evil, and change the suffering into a blessing. David founded upon this the hope, that the Lord would repay him with good for the curse with which Shimei was pursuing him now.


2SA 16:13 So David and his men went on the way; and Shimei went along on the hillside parallel with him and as he went he cursed, and cast stones and threw dust at him.


2SA 16:14 And the king and all the people who were with him arrived weary and he refreshed himself there [Jordan River].


The cost of leadership is criticism. Paul sought the favor of God, not of people.


GAL 1:10

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.


Paul was highly criticized by the Corinthians:


1CO 4:1 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.


1CO 4:2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.


1CO 4:3 But to me it is a very small thing that I should be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.


1CO 4:4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.


Trying to please men so as to assuage criticism is a waste of time and it will not stop a thing.


COL 3:22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.


COL 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men;


COL 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.


COL 3:25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.


The cost of leadership is rejection. Christ came into His own and they did not receive Him.


When in response to the clear call of God, A. B. Simpson resigned a pastorate with the Presbyterian church , he learned the meaning of "destitute, despise, forsaken." He surrendered a comfortable salary, a position as senior pastor in a great American city, and all claim to denominational help for his untried work. he had no following, or organization, no resources, and large family to support, and everyone close to him was predicting failure. He often said that he looked down upon the stone in the street for the sympathy denied him by friends he treasured. The rugged path of utter rejection was trodden without complaint, and with rejoicing. He knew that though he was going through fire and water, it was the divinely appointed way to the wealthy place. To such a place Simpson was led. At his death he had established five schools for the training of missionaries, hundreds of missionaries in sixteen lands, and many churches in the US and Canada that exerted a spiritual influence beyond their numbers. He founded the Christian and Missionary Alliance.


"Often the crowd does not recognize a leader until he has gone, and then they build a monument for him with the stone they threw at him in life." [Cowman]


The cost of leadership is pressure and perplexity. We naively think that the more we grow as Christians, the easier it will be to discern the will of God in situations.


Likely it is the opposite that is the case. The spiritual adult is treated as a spiritual adult. The Master will use him more. As we see with Job, who eventually became very confused about what God was doing with Him, maturity brought the greatest test of his life.


Hudson Taylor once said how in his younger days, things came to clearly, so quickly to him. "But," he said, "now as I have gone on, and God has used me more and more, I seem often to be like a man going along in a fog. I do not know what to do."


God will always deliver at the right time, as He did with Job, but until then we will be perplexed.


The cost of leadership is also to those who are close to the leadership - deacon, administrator, wife, child, etc.


Often the people associated with the leader have great sacrifices to make to that the leader can lead well. A wife or deacon or administrator or any other assistant to the leader are to be helpmates and not ones who increase his burden. They have plenty of sacrifices to make as well and all is to be to the glory of God. We do our jobs, our callings, as unto the Lord. The assistant doesn't serve the leader, but serves the Lord and due to that they serve the leader.


10. The Responsibilities of Leadership.