Leadership and Discipline- Proverbs- Week 10- Day 2

The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.

Proverbs 29:14

A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.

Proverbs 29:19

Explanation:
The theme of leadership and discipline continues in these two texts.

In verse 14 we see the responsibility of leadership to appropriately mediate over the circumstances of the poor. Dealing with those in poverty justly can be difficult. On the one hand, those who have little have been overlooked and abandoned historically because they have little to offer. It has been easy for leaders to take advantage of the poor because their lack of resources makes it difficult for them to defend or represent themselves well. On the other hand, those in poverty have been counted as virtuous because of their need. Their difficult situation has tempted leaders to overlook justice. Solomon states here that the one that is faithful in their ability to act justly will have a durable tenure. Leaders who have the discipline to judge faithfully, and meet out discipline justly to the most vulnerable, will have a leadership that is well established. That kind of leader is likely to have favor with God and man.

In verse 19 we see a principle about leadership and discipline that is very practical. If the only “tool” in the leader’s “toolbox” is words, the actions required for success may very well go undone. Words must be followed up with action. There is an old saying that goes something like, “People do not always do what you expect. They do what you inspect.” Many times we are obedient to do what we are told, but we are more likely to do what we are told if we know that we will be held accountable to do it at some point. There are some times where people are not motivated by inspiration, but rather by discomfort. It is the job of the leader to point out the discomfort of a lack of discipline. Discipline at that level must be in his toolbox if the group he leads is to succeed.

Application:
The connection between leadership and discipline is clear. Here are two principles:

  1. The effective and faithful leader is self-disciplined.
  2. The effective and faithful leader must lead people to self-discipline.

Response:
• Do you see self-discipline as bondage or freedom?
• Where do you need to grow in your own self-discipline?
• How can you “lean-in” to those who lead you when it comes to accountability?

Leadership and Discipline- Proverbs- Week 10- Day 1

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.

Proverbs 29:2-3

If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.

Proverbs 29:12

Explanation:
This week’s posts will cover Proverbs 29:1-3, and 12-20. The theme of these verses is the nature of discipline. When we think about discipline we do not usually think about freedom, blessing, and the like. Discipline is not necessarily a popular thing in our culture, and yet the writer of Proverbs makes it clear that discipline is embraced by the wise and it brings about things in our lives that we need.

In today’s verses we see a pattern of leadership and discipline. In verse 2 and 3 we see the positive effects of disciplined leaders, and we see the negative effects of leadership that is not disciplined.

Verse 2 states that when the righteous, those who are disciplined, are in authority, the people rejoice. Leaders who lead righteously bring about outcomes that their followers desire. Verse 3 states that when a father leads his son in such a way that the son embraces discipline and loves wisdom, it makes the father happy, and their relationship is good.

These verses also speak to a lack of discipline. In verse 2 it says that when the wicked are in authority, it brings about horrible outcomes for their followers. In verse 3 you see that when the child does not embrace wisdom, it costs both father and son.

Verse 12 displays more of the effects of undisciplined, unrighteous leading. When a leader embraces lies, and lacks the discipline to see out the truth, it produces undisciplined followers and undisciplined environments.

In these three verses you have thriving and you have suffering. The leaders who lead rightly find a pattern of blessing, while the leaders who lead in an undisciplined way suffer along with their people.

Application:
In these two verses we see leadership in the home and in the society at large. The common denominator is discipline. There is both a leadership that is disciplined and righteous, and a leadership without discipline.

What kind of leadership are you providing in your home, in the marketplace, in the community, and in your church? Are you a disciplined person?

Leaders set the tone. They set the example.

Response:
What is an area of your personal life that you can grow in discipline?
What is an area of your leadership that needs more discipline?

Week 13: Day 4- Deuteronomy 34:5-6

So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. 

(Deu 34:5-6)

Explanation:

There are three phrases that strike me in these two verses.
First, I’m struck by the phrase “the servant of the Lord”.  If you were to know Moses’ life, you could have called him several things.  He could have been known as Moses, the Leader of the People, or Moses, the former prince of Egypt, or Moses, the prophet of God.  He could have been titled many things, but at the end of His life, the Holy Spirit chose to call him “the servant of the Lord”.  It’s really not a bad title. 

Second, I’m struck by the phrase “according to the word of the Lord”.  This is just saying that what God said about Moses’ death- its’ timing and location- happened.  God is in control, and what He says will happen will certainly come to pass.  Remember what the scripture says.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

(Heb 9:27)

Lastly, I’m struck by the phrase “no man knoweth of his suplchre unto this day”.  All we can say for certain about this phrase is that we don’t know specifically where Moses’ is buried.  We don’t know it now, because at the time of that writing no one knew then as well.  Why didn’t God allow the people to know where Moses was buried?  Several options could be submitted, but I believe that at least part of it had to do with the human bent toward idolatry.  Human beings tend to worship, and often worship that which is not God.  This is called idolatry.  Knowing the place where Moses was buried would tempt the children of Israel from moving beyond veneration to worship.  Moses was the servant of the Lord, and would not want himself to be worshiped.

Application:

Three obvious applications to my thoughts.

  1. At our best we are “the servants of the Lord.  If we order our lives to following and serving Him that is what is best for us.
  1. What God has promised He will do.  Knowing that this world is temporal, and that we are eternal we must be wise. 

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  (Eph 5:15-16)                

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.  (Psa 90:12)

        3. We should be careful not to make idols of our leaders.  When we have great leaders that impact us, we must remember that at best they are servants of the Lord.  What impacts us about them is God working in them and then through them.  We ought to worship the Lord because of their leadership and not them.

Response:

  1. In your walk this week could you rightly be called a servant of the Lord?
  2. Are you numbering your days- thinking about how you are using the time that you have for Gospel impact?
  3. What is your heart worshipping right now?  Any answer other than God is out of bounds!

Week 13: Day 2- Deuteronomy 32:50-52

And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people: Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel. Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.

(Deu 32:50-52)

Explanation:

As we studied yesterday, Moses was commanded to go into the mountain to die because God had forbid him to come into the promised land. Why? Because of what happened at Meribah.

And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.

(Num 20:10-13)

It may seem to some a strict punishment that God was laying on Moses and Aaron.  God is just in His judgement, and sees not only our behavior but also our hearts.  God is right to hold his people accountable, and the Bible is clear about God’s expectation of leaders.

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

(Jas 3:1-2)

Application:

Leaders are influencers.  They influence with their words, attitudes, actions and resources.  As the leader goes, so tend to go those who the leader leads.  With this stewardship comes a greater accountability.

Response:

  • How are you leading with your words, attitudes, actions and resources? 
  • If you were being perfectly imitated by those you influence, would your family/organization/church/business be better or worse? 
  • Take some time to evaluate your influence today!