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Saul, A Good Lesson On a Bad Leader

Greetings, everyone,

I pray for your health, your salvation, and your faith. For all are in peril today. This is not a happy message, however, there is always a happy ending. But it must be proclaimed. I am compelled by God’s Spirit to proclaim it.

The headlines never seem to improve. They used to improve after a period of bad headlines. Things seem to be becoming worse and worse. Covid-19, the vaccine and treatment controversy related to Covid-19, the failure at our border, the failure in Afghanistan, the house of cards economy, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and the failure of leadership. Now this last headline is different, because it may truly be the root cause of all the other sad news that we are receiving right now.

What we have is a lack of true, honest, and sound leadership, not just for our nation, but around the world. If you don’t believe me, that’s fine. Just Google what’s happening in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Cuba, China and Russia. I have not mentioned any countries in Africa, the Middle East or South America, where there are many more corrupt leaders. Go ahead, check it out. What you will find is that there is a commonality of corrupt or negligently corrupt leaders all around the world. They are not operating in a vacuum either. They are operating in many instances in concert with other corrupt leaders to suppress freedom and prosperity for their people and large population groups around the world. This is not a political message about parties. Both parties lack true leadership. This is a message about quality. We have not had statesmen for a couple generations. Now, we just have politicians.

This lack of quality leadership is nothing new. The Bible is full of examples of bad leadership, especially in the various kings of God’s people.

I want to begin with Proverbs 29:2. This is a brief verse, as many verses in the book of Proverbs are. However, this verse will be our main verse, and also over the next 4 or 5 weeks, as we discuss leadership, the lack of leadership, and even corrupt leadership. Today, as we introduce this topic, we will walk through this 29th chapter of Proverbs, seeing what wisdom and insight that we can glean from Solomon and what it means for us today. Proverbs 29:2,

“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.”

Tell me honestly, are any of you rejoicing right now? I think not. If you are, I would respectfully say that your rejoicing is misplaced. It is a difficult time in many of our lives, and for some it is a terrible time. I do not see rejoicing taking place nor do I sense anyone contemplating rejoicing, except those who are in power currently. Their rejoicing is nothing more than a propaganda of a sort.

“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.”

No, I don’t see any rejoicing, but I do hear a great deal of groaning. This tells me two things:

  • The righteous are not thriving

  • The wicked are ruling

There is no argument to the fact that the church is in decline. It has been so for a while. Declining for so long that the negative long term side effects from this decline are obvious in our culture.

For example, the decline of the family unit. Our education system is in a shambles. College degrees are now virtually worthless. The result is that we have no sense of right and wrong. We have become an unrighteous society where sin is ignored, even promoted and celebrated.

About the wicked ruling, answer this question: Name me one, just one, non corrupt or competent leader of our national government. Name me one. I can’t think of one. Google the order of succession from President Biden. After Vice-President Harris and the Speaker Nancy Pelosi you will not recognize most of the next dozen names. Many people cry for justice today, but it never is a righteous justice, a Jesus’ justice, its just another person’s opinion on what justice should be for them. We need Jesus' Justice, a mix of forgiveness and salvation and righteousness.

Proverbs 29 gives us a recipe for a leader’s skill in developing justice:

First, from Proverb 29:14, a leader “judges the poor with fairness”. You can tell if a country is corrupt by how the less fortunate are treated in it. Folks there is a tsunami of homelessness that will soon, probably before Christmas, hit. I see the homeless now, being manipulated by governmental entities and private welfare groups.. This is just one segment of our less fortunate population in the U.S. When the new evictions hit more than the chronic homeless will be involved. There will be thousands of families with children on the street or in their cars.

Second, from Proverbs 29:4, a just leader “refuses to take bribes”. I will not say anything about this subject and our current president because it is not necessary. There is a great deal of cash floating around. In confusion, there are profits. Hang on to your wallet.

Finally, Proverbs tells us in 25:5, that a just leader “removes any wicked advisers”. If we cannot name one righteous person in our current governmental structure, would it not imply that all are wicked. Maybe not all, some might just be inept. But that doesn’t make you feel any better does it?

No, we still groan under inept rule, as much as we do under wicked rule.

I don’t want to have to say these things. Some of you, maybe even many of you, may disagree with me for saying these things. But folks, “the emperor has no clothes”. Remember that children's story? The story where yes men and women never speak the truth? I can’t say what I see is not what I see happening. This country is in a rapid spiritual and sinful decline. Rapid, like a plane crash.

We need righteousness. We need to proclaim righteousness. Where are the prophets of today? I’ll tell you where they are, they have retired. Most of the pastors that could retire have retired in the last two years. Those that couldn’t, can’t wait to retire, and are trying to figure out how to retire. This is not just in the Methodist Church. This lack of revelation in the Word leaves us vulnerable. Proverbs 29:18, here is the bombshell,

“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.”

We have forsaken right and wrong, sin is excused, it is accepted, even celebrated. Those who don’t know any better, along with those who do, have “cast off their restraints”, and dived into the deep end of our sinful, worldly pool of gunk. The prophets, the preachers, and the pastors are retiring.

As a pastor, a shepherd called by God, I can’t just retire. Oh how I long to retire. I must preach repentance of sins. I must preach the blood of Jesus. I must preach the righteousness of God. I must preach salvation.

Sin is not OK. Sin is not a goal. It is an outcome denoting failure, not success. If we are to survive as a nation we cannot become a citizenry made up of people whose goal when they wake up in the morning is for them to sin. Whether that sin be of a financial nature, a sexual nature, an untruthful nature, or any other nature.

The Good News of Jesus Christ is that we do not have to live in sin. Jesus came for us to repent, receive forgiveness, and believe in Him and his truth. We must not acquiesce to sin any longer. We cannot accept sinfulness as an end result. Here’s why, and I’ll finish here, Proverbs 29:16,

“When the wicked thrive, so does sin; but the righteous will see their downfall.”

The wicked are thriving now, no doubt. Sin is abundant and flourishing all over the globe. But righteousness will ultimately prevail. I don’t know when or how, just that it will. This is the good news of this message today. I know righteousness will prevail.

I know this because I believe in the word of God. I have no difficulty saying this. In fact, I am very comfortable saying this. I believe in the Word of God.

The world has done its best to discourage and deflate belief in the Bible. But right now, at this point in time historically and in reality, there is nothing else that can compare to its honesty, its truthfulness, or its righteousness. It’s harvest time.

This world needs a righteous remnant. Let’s be a part of it.

Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.


Thad Brown

Opportunity House

And Harmony UMC


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