Welcome, everyone. Session 7. We are moving right along. I’m so grateful that you’re still with me in this class as we look at leadership lessons. And I want you to recognize and understand that these lessons (I know I’ve said it before) they’re going to impact your leadership and your sphere of influence where you will see yourself be able to bring maximum glory to God.
Last session we talked a lot about mentors. And I was reminded in between that session, there’s a difference between mentors and tormentors. You don’t want tormentors. You want to be a mentor. You don’t want to torment people, but you want to be a mentor, a godly person who comes alongside, helps to disciple and bless someone who’s going forward.
We’re going to continue, though, in the life of Joash and learn some leadership lessons. But I want to warn you. This lesson, or these lessons that we’re going to learn today can be a bit challenging; and they can touch us deep in the core of our souls. And so I want you to brace yourself and prepare as we prepare to look at these lessons and see what God will have us to be as leaders.
26. Righteous leaders must hear from God themselves and not be solely dependent upon people.
As we know, Joash was hidden in the temple. His mentor had hidden him. He’s there. Things are difficult. But he emerges as king. They finally bring him out when it was his time. His grandmother is moved aside, and he’s made king. The lesson that we will learn is that the righteous leader must hear from God themselves and not be solely dependent upon other people. That’s very important. Whether they’re your mentor or not, the leader cannot solely be dependent upon the opinions or the thoughts of other people. In 2 Chronicles 24:7–18, we see this demonstrated in the life of Joash. But before that in verse 2, it tells us that Joash followed God as long as Jehoiada was alive. His mentor was Jehoiada. As long as Jehoiada, who was a father figure—because remember Joash was in a precarious situation—he was a father figure, and he was a mentor. As long as he was alive, he followed what Jehoiada would have him to do. Joash, however, was dependent (I would dare say codependent) upon direction from men and had not learned to hear from God Himself. He had become overly reliant upon his mentor. True mentorship must seek to be discipleship, not just the source for individuals, but pointing them to the source of God. I cannot be your hero as a mentor. Jesus must be the hero in your life.
Second Chronicles 24:17 says, “Now after the death of Jehoiada, the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them.” Alright? So after Jehoiada passed, it said “the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And he listened to them.” We must recognize that whoever I am mentoring, whoever I am helping to move along—I’m parenting my children, I’m mentoring others—they must learn to hear from God themselves, because it’s not guaranteed we will be here forever. But Jesus will be with them forever. He began to listen to others, and that’s a bad trait.
27. The righteous leader must reject the spirit of orphan.
So the next thing we begin to learn from Joash’s life, the next lesson, is that the righteous leader must reject the spirit of orphan. That’s the term that I’m utilizing here. It comes from 2 Chronicles 24:20–22. It says, “Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, ‘Thus says God, “Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He has forsaken you.”’ So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord. Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son; and when he died, he said, ‘The LORD look on it, and repay.’”
This is one of the most tragic things I’ve ever read in Scripture, ever heard of. Here it is. Jehoiada passes away. Joash is the king. He had been following his leadership. He now listens to everyone else. He’s listening to other people, instead of God. This is his brother, Zechariah. This is the son of Jehoiada. He comes and reminds him, “We were raised better than this. You know better than this. You are a better man than this.” And instead of heeding his advice, he delegates to others to kill his own brother. Really he’s his cousin, but he’s basically his brother because they were raised together. He kills him because he dared to tell him what he had done wrong. Joash literally killed his brother because he’d given him advice. The reason why Joash had done this is because he had a spirit of orphan. He chose to be a product of his environment. Remember his grandmother, Athaliah, he chose to be a product of that environment, which he was raised in. He was raised in seclusion in the church, cut off from the world. He was in isolation. All of his siblings were dead. His father was dead. His grandfather had died. His grandmother tried to kill him. And instead of celebrating the wonderful adoption and raising that happened with Jehoiada and Jehoshabeath raising him—instead of that, he reverted back to the old pattern of his family. Even though he received love and affection from Jehoshabeath and Jehoiada, he chose the pattern of his dysfunctional family, because ultimately he never felt good enough, and he never fit in. That’s the spirit of orphan. He never felt like a real son. This was not because of a flaw. This is not because of a flaw in those who adopted him. This was a weakness that the enemy took advantage of in this leader to amplify the weakness in his raising, to amplify the dysfunction in his family. And he became exactly what he missed.
Many leaders, when you become a leader, your character will come under intense pressure as you lead. The things that have happened in your life—the challenges that you have faced, the insecurities that you have had in your life, the hurt and the pain of your past—must be allowed to be healed by the love of Christ, where you take on a spirit of adoption, where you can then cry, as it says in the Scripture, “Abba! Father!” Daddy, Daddy. That you can receive your heavenly Father regardless of how your natural father was. Where you can receive the peace of the functionality of God’s family regardless of how dysfunctional your family was. Where even though you may have been rejected and not accepted, you will not will that upon others, and you will be able to be healed and not have this spirit of orphan.
Romans 8:12–17 says, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God these are the sons of God.” Sons and daughters. “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom [you] can cry out, “Abba, Father!” I quoted this earlier, but I wanted to read it to you. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him.” When you were born again, when you became a godly leader, the spirit of bondage that has been put upon all of us—I don’t care if you’re from the suburbs or the urban area. I don’t care if you’re black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, wherever you are from in the world, the enemy has sought to put pain in your life. And that pain seeks to manipulate you, so that when you ascend to a leadership position, to utilize that pain, if not healed, to hurt countless others.
I say to you, replace the pain and lies of the past, the lies of the enemy, with the truth of God. This young man, Joash, killed his brother because he had the spirit of orphan, had not had the spirit of adoption. He had dwelt and allowed himself to be nurtured, if you will, with the dysfunction of the past and not be free. Oh, how many innocent people have been damaged by such a spirit? Oh, how many wonderful leadership opportunities, wonderful doors opened, have been destroyed because the leader, his or herself, has refused to receive the grace and the love of God to be free? I say to you, don’t fall into the tragedy that he has. Allow God to heal you. Allow God to heal you from whatever it may be—abuse, dysfunction, divorce, abandonment, sickness, whatever it may be. He can and will heal you.
Joash, his servants kill him, just as they killed his grandfather. Remember his grandfather, who did all kinds of things? His servants killed him the same way. And they celebrated. They did not celebrate his life, but they celebrated his death, just as they did with his grandfather. This man who had a great opportunity. And now his son, Amaziah, becomes king.
28. Righteous leaders reject revenge.
Amaziah becomes king, and the first lesson we learn from that is that righteous leaders reject revenge. Second Chronicles 25:2–4, Amaziah becomes king at 25 years old, after his father dies. They kill Joash in his bed, after he was wounded by the Syrians. Joash was wounded by the Syrians, and then they kill him while he’s in a bed recovering. Amaziah brought justice against the murderers of his father, but rejected the revengeful custom of killing the families of those who murdered his father. He could have killed them. We see in 2 Chronicles 25:2–4 he could have, based on the custom. But he said, “I’m not going to do that.” He sought to bring a new path into the nation at a time of healing. He recognized that his father had made some great mistakes. His father had found himself in some places. And Amaziah said, “I am not going to find revenge. I’m going to move forward.” The true leader, a true godly leader, a righteous leader, rejects revenge.
29. Good leaders admit and correct their mistakes.
Another thing that we learn from Amaziah is that good leaders admit and correct their mistakes. Second Chronicles 25, you go down to verse 9–10, Amaziah was faced with challenges automatically when he became king. He first saw the political answer. He was surrounded by an army. Here we go again. He’s surrounded by an army that seeks to decimate this small, tiny nation of Judah. And instead of trusting God, he paid money to hire mercenaries to assist them in fighting. He gets these mercenaries to fight, and when he goes to get these mercenaries, he pays them. They’re not righteous; they’re not serving the God of the Bible. As some of his fathers, his forefathers, had done, he didn’t pray to God and say, like Asa did, “Lord, this is your fight.” No, “I’m going to go pay some people to come in and help us fight this fight.”
And he was confronted by a prophet from the Lord. And he had a choice, just as others had, to either hear from God or to do things his own way. He could accept God’s Word or reject it. It’s not easy, as a leader, when people confront us with truth, when people confront us with hard realities. When he’s confronted, after hiring 100,000 soldiers at 100 talents of silver each—in costs today that would mean that he spent almost $4 million US dollars to hire these soldiers. And he paid them up front. You have to pay mercenaries up front in case they die. He paid close to $4 million US dollars to these soldiers. Now the man of God comes and says, “You’ve done wrong. You don’t need these soldiers. Trust God.” What would you do if you’d invested $4 million dollars in something and your pastor tells you it’s a mistake, your bishop tells you it’s a mistake, your wife tells you it’s a mistake, your husband tells you it’s a mistake, your parents tell you? And they say, “God said . . .” What would you do after that great investment? You’d say, “Oh, it’s too late now. I’ve invested the money.” Well, that’s not what Amaziah did. Amaziah accepted the Word of God, even though it cost him. And he recognized this. In verse 9, it says he asked, “What shall we do about the 100 talents if we’re not going to use these guys?” And then the prophet told him, “The Lord is able to give you much more than this.” The mercenaries had already received cash. He told them, “I’m sorry. I made a mistake. I don’t want a refund. You can just go. I’ll lose it. I’d rather lose and stand with God, than to hold onto my investment.” And that is a real leadership decision. Interesting thing is when he did that, those very people that he paid, who were willing to die for him, were ready to kill him. Sometimes when you make righteous decisions as a leader, the very people you’re helping will become angry. Amaziah discharged them, and they returned in their anger. Stand. It’s not easy being a leader, but you can stand, and you can make it. Pray these leadership lessons help you.