Updated: Feb 24
Reflections on Leadership! - By Richard Allen - February 21, 2022
Leadership is an interesting subject, one of which people can widely differ in opinions. This is usually because they’ve chosen a favorite leader whose qualities they admire, jading their perspective. The short list of greatest leaders of all times has names like: Gandhi, Julius Caesar, Winston Churchill, Mother Theresa, Genghis Khan, Nelson Mandela, Alexander the Great, George Washington, Joseph Stalin, Martin Luther King, Queen Elizabeth, Che Guevara, Margaret Thatcher, Fidel Castro, Napoleon, and Abraham Lincoln. Some lists include Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong which is not surprising since others like Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Genghis Khan were also murderous dictators.
I’d like to look at leadership through the “prism of the scripture” and allow God’s word to help us evaluate leadership and those leaders whom God commends to us. Let me start with a blunt statement that may be mine as I haven’t seen anyone else say this exactly:
“No one who thirsts for power and control should ever have it, or even come close to it!”
My reasoning for stating this is that history is strewn with the crushed lives and shattered souls of power-hungry men who sought for power or world domination, all for no other reason than their own aggrandizement and pleasure. On the other hand, there are a few men who were reluctant leaders, who ruled mostly for the well-being of their people and usually ended up ruling justly with both compassion and skill. Looking at the list above, only a handful of names stand out as “selfless leaders” who sought only the well being of their people, with no apparent lust for power. At the top of my list is George Washington, often called ”Cincinnatus of the West.” Cincinnatus was a 5th Century B.C. Roman farmer who was asked by the Roman Senate to become a dictator for 6 months, just to fight off invaders at the gates. They feared any man having absolute power too long. But after two weeks, he had mostly vanquished the invaders (leading the charge personally), and because he was a man of virtue, he immediately handed power back to the Roman Senate! Washington was such a man, in that he was lured out of retirement to lead the Continental Army against England, and after years of bloody struggle, won a decisive American victory and promptly handed power back to the Continental Congress! World over, most see Washington was a man who could have proclaimed himself King of America, but rather gave up power willingly. Washington, like many of our founders, understood those who were elected to rule, should be citizen legislators who would serve and then go home!
Scripture records many examples of selfish leaders whose only purpose was to enrich themselves and their families by controlling others! As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, in Matthew 20:25 Jesus warned his followers NOT TO BE LIKE THE GENTILE LEADERS WHO LORD IT OVER THE PEOPLE! Jesus told His children that: HE WHO WOULD BE GREATEST AMONG YOU MUST BE A SERVANT TO ALL! Like Jesus, Samuel the prophet didn’t think much of the self-serving Gentile leaders of his day. And when the Israelites asked for a king – so they could be like the Gentiles around them, Samuel warned them that a king will take your sons and daughters to be his farmers, servants, soldiers, perfumers and cooks. This king will also take the choicest of your harvest, your vineyards and your livestock – all for his own use! (I Samuel 8:11-17)
Sad to say, this has been the case with many so-called elected leaders including many of our U.S. presidents. It’s not that the job pays these so-called public servants that well, but the graft and corruption that comes with raising campaign cash and the influence that campaign cash buys, shows that Samuel’s warning is still true for elected leaders in Western Societies today. Most of them see their elected office NOT AS A CHANCE TO SERVE, BUT A CHANCE TO GROW RICH AND POWERFUL! If we just look at the change in wealth from before and after they have served as president, it’s startling how much corruption there must be:
Time would not allow me to detail the massive scam that Joe Biden has run on the citizens of Delaware and the American people in his 50 years in public office. Peter Schweitzer has carefully detailed how Senator Joe and now Puppet Joe the PINO (President in Name Only) has amassed wealth for himself and his family, most of it by selling out the American people to bankers or foreign interests. Like former president Harry Truman said: “You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook!” Enough said.
In stark contrast to these self-serving leaders, I’d like us to look at an Israelite leader of old, Nehemiah - cup bearer to Xerxes, king of Persia. Nehemiah reluctantly served for a short period as the governor of Judah during a tumultuous time. And it’s clear that this same Nehemiah, after whom the Old Testament book is named was burdened – not by a lust for power, control or wealth – but rather for the good of his people, Israel! I’d also like to compare him to our rightful president, Donald Trump.
As we look briefly at his career as the governor of Judah, Nehemiah shows remarkable virtue and strength as a “servant-leader,” the exact style of leader Jesus called His children to emulate. No doubt, Nehemiah was one who foreshadowed a coming king who would also be “meek and lowly,” not born in a palace, but in a stable, that is Jesus Christ our Lord! But you may ask, how exactly does a self-promoting bragger like Donald Trump compare to either of these godly men? No doubt there are major differences, and I’m not pretending that President Trump is a humble godly man or someone who’s particularly religious. Some conservative Christian leaders are anxious to point out that Trump’s courting of Evangelicals and his willingness to pray and be prayed for by big-name pastors, are evidence of his faith. Outward show does not a Christian leader make. But let me also say that Trump is not hostile to the Christian faith like many of those in the Democrat party and Marxist-Progressive Movement.
Nehemiah was focused on protecting Israel from her surrounding enemies by finishing the Wall around Jerusalem, and promoting faithful living by encouraging the Israelites to obey the Lord in all things. He was not motivated by personal enrichment, but by an overriding concern for the covenant people of God! Nehemiah is a shining light compared to most leaders throughout the ages, including our own. While Trump has his flaws, he does love this country and its people. The list of Trump’s unpublicized acts of kindness and philanthropy is quite long. But let us look at some of the actions in which Nehemiah excelled as a “servant leader” that correspond to President Trump.
Nehemiah had passion and concern for the degradation and demise of his people Israel (Nehemiah 1:1-3), and he clearly linked Israel’s misfortune to their failure to follow the commandments and statutes which God had given them (Nehemiah 1:7-10). Anyone who has been listening to Donald Trump for the past 40 years, knows that he has been saying much the same thing: That America is in decline, being cheated by friend and foe alike – and it’s all because we haven’t followed the code of our own statutes (Constitution) to protect and defend the common good! We’ve also allowed foreign interests to seriously hurt the American worker. The only way we can fix things is by a return to the rule of law. In a famous interview with the “Oprah,” Donald Trump laid out the exact agenda that he followed while president! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEPs17_AkTI
It's ironic, but Donald sounds a lot like a Nehemiah in this interview, reluctant to run – yet worried that our own political class was doing nothing but getting rich, using the corrupt system in place – he may have to run! And like Nehemiah, he was uninterested in power or wealth, only in doing what’s right for the American People! No question, Trump was already wealthy and had considerable power – he didn’t need more. And Nehemiah, as the most trusted servant to the King of the Persian Empire, was doing just fine, he certainly wasn’t missing any meals. And being surrounded by Persian forces in the Capitol of Susa, Nehemiah didn’t have any external threats to worry about. Why would he return to Judah and surround himself with threats and hostilities? Because, like Trump, Nehemiah cared about his people! And like Trump, Nehemiah could have kept his mouth shut and lived his life in comfort. Nehemiah dared to reveal his troubled heart, and risked speaking to Xerxes about his concern for his people (Nehemiah 2:1-5).
Trump’s main campaign theme was, "Make America Great Again (MAGA)." Nehemiah was looking to do the same, "Make Israel Great Again!" And like Trump, only the surrounding nations who wanted Israel absorbed or destroyed, thought him racist or xenophobic! In order to get Israel back to where God wanted her, Israel needed to worship of the One True God. In order to do that, she needed to rebuild the Wall around Jerusalem to preserve the integrity of the Temple worship and priesthood. The surrounding nations, including the half-Jew / half-Gentile Samaritans, sought to keep the wall down and keep Israel from worshiping the God whom they feared. How ironic that Trump also sought to “Build The Wall,” along our southern border for much the same reasons.
Illegal immigration from our southern border is one of the main methods our enemies use to neutralize our love of Faith, Family and Freedom! The purpose is to weaken and dilute the Electorate of the United States into a “multi-cultural” milieu of ethnic and religious rivalries. No more “e pluribus unum” (out of many, one), but rather a fractured and weakened populace who fear and hate each other, mired in tribalism and division. And like Nehemiah, Donald Trump knew that the Wall meant so much more than controlling our already generous Immigration practices. We legally allow 1,000,000 immigrants into the U.S. yearly, so we’re not preventing the tired, poor and huddled masses from yearning or being able to breathe “free.”
President Trump did build the wall, and would have completed it and secured our Southern Border. Unlike Nehemiah, foreign enemies conspiring against him defeated him, colluding with domestic traitors in a full-court election fraud operation. I could go on how, like Nehemiah, Donald Trump shamed the Elites (Nobles) in our country who were extorting interest from the poor, or the fact that Trump didn’t take a penny in wages while he was president. On the contrary, his total wealth was reduced by one billion dollars. And like Nehemiah, Donald Trump has been ridiculed and falsely accused of treachery on a global scale. Like Nehemiah, President Trump endured the slings and arrows of those who hate not him, but "We the American People!" Let us hope and pray that like Nehemiah, Trump becomes a man of faith and prayer, learning that real strength comes from the Lord. Only with God’s providential help will he get the wall built, preserve America’s unique love of freedom from government tyranny, and return America to greatness once again!
Don’t bet against Trump, with God, anything is possible!