Our Longing for a Worthy Leader

Encouragement for Your Heart and Mind from Pastor David Staff

It is hard for me to fathom it.  Still, it is undeniably true.  I am making my way through year 70 of life.  Should the Lord permit, sometime next fall, I will fully own that milestone.

Through seven decades of life, I’ve seen many countless leaders come-and-go.  Way too often, leaders that I have thought would finally provide the kind of example and direction so desperately needed—either politically or spiritually--fell short.
Often, woefully short!

As a student in High School, I blindly believed in the personal and political leadership of Richard Nixon.  How naïve and foolish I was.  Year after year, decade after decade, I’ve seen fellow disciples exhibit similar gullibility.  How easily Jesus’ disciples – longing for a genuinely moral and wise leadership -- are fooled by those courting their allegiance while seeking political power.
Looking back over the 40+ years in Christian ministry, I have also, too often, placed confidence in “this” church leader or “that” Christian apologist or “this” Christian author, only to later discover how compromised their lives actually were. Today, even as Billy Graham’s Biblically-informed voice fell silent when he graduated to heaven in 2018, no evangelical leader of consequence has been able to inherit Graham’s mantle.

Genuine, humble, worthy leaders seem very few, and far, far-between.

 During these days of Advent, we find hope in the prophetic declarations of Isaiah.  His heart, his mouth, and his pen were full of the word of God.  Speaking to ancient Israel, compromised in darkness and destined for exile, the promise of a remarkable, future leader breaks through.  A coming day when

“To us a child is born, to us a son is given.
And the government will be on His shoulder,
and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,
the Father of Everlasting, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and of peace, there will be no end.
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
from this time forth and forever more.

What’s more!

            “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”
            (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Of course, Bible students understand that in his first coming, the Lord Jesus Christ is this divinely promised, zealously-given, leader worthy of our faith, love, and loyalty.  Gabriel tells Mary that her birthed-son “will be great, called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of His father David” (Luke 1:32).  Matthew identifies Jesus as the “great light” (Isaiah 9:2) that “people dwelling in darkness” and “in the region and shadow of death” must see.

Unfortunately, Israel’s leadership did not sufficiently see Jesus as this light.  They did not welcome him to take his place on the throne of David.  Instead, they crucified Him, settling for and embracing yet another generation of failing Jewish and Roman leadership.

But God’s promises must be fulfilled in full!  Isaiah’s prophesy requires that the zealous Lord will again send this Light.  There is coming a day – as sure as the word of God is true – when this Wonderful Counselor, this Father of the Ages, this Prince of Peace will arrive and take His place, rightfully, not in a manger, but on David’s throne.  The world will experience a government of peace to which there will be no end.  In which there will be justice and righteousness from this time forth and ever more.  Every knee will bow.

On Advent Sunday #1, Alan Donald reminded us how much all creation groans in eager expectation, awaiting His arrival and the revelation of the sons/daughters of God.  On Advent Sunday #2, Associate Pastor Loren Kolman will anchor our expectant hearts in God’s promise of a truly worthy Leader.

See you Sunday morning for Gathered Worship!
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