On Monday this past week, along with millions of other people around the world, I watched the first presidential debate. Let me rephrase that: I tried to watch the first presidential debate. To be honest, I couldn’t make it for more than a few minutes at a time. I would watch for about five minutes, turn to something else for a while, turn back to the debate, and then after five minutes be desperately searching once again for another show. Through all of this I kept thinking: Where have all the good leaders gone? It put me in mind of Isaiah 3:1-5:
For behold, the Lord God of hosts is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah
Both supply and support, the whole supply of bread
And the whole supply of water;
The mighty man and the warrior,
The judge and the prophet,
The diviner and the elder,
The captain of fifty and the honorable man,
The counselor and the expert artisan,
And the skillful enchanter.
And I will make mere lads their princes,
And capricious children will rule over them,
And the people will be oppressed,
Each one by another, and each one by his neighbor;
The youth will storm against the elder
And the inferior against the honorable.
Israel had been blessed by God with some incredible leaders: Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon to name a few. Yet, because of their sin and rebellion God removed all the good leaders and honorable men from the nation. The message from God was clear: If you do not recognize My authority then I will take away all the people that lead you, support you, and make the nation great. As a result the people of Israel were forced to turn to “capricious children” for leadership. I can’t help but think that the United States is now at that point. I am often asked if I think the country is under judgment. When abortion is a hallowed right, when homosexuality is celebrated, when narcissism is a virtue, when corruption is excused, when truth is despised, when the Word of God is mocked even by those claiming to be Christians, then it’s hard to imagine why God wouldn’t judge our country. In the words of Ruth Graham, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
However, it is nothing new for the people of God to live in the midst of sin and depravity. The church was born into a hostile society, hated on one side by legalistic religionists and on the other by hedonistic pagans. Yet the church persevered, just as Jesus promised it would, and as the church we must continue to be the light for a dark and dying world until Jesus returns to take us home.
Adam Davis, Senior Pastor FBC Archer City, TX