25th October 2019

A Different Kind of King

“And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel that the old men had given him, he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, ‘My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”
1 Kings 12:13-14 ESV

Where have all the good leaders gone? So many of the problems we are facing in the world today seem to stem from a lack of real leadership. Politicians and leaders are so often more interested in building up themselves than their countries; in securing their own wealth and power than seeking to improve the lives of those they are supposed to be serving.

This is not just a modern problem. The king referenced in the scripture above is Solomon’s son Rehoboam, and what his subjects were looking for in a king was someone who would help them with their burdens, someone who would ease their heavy yoke. Instead he made their lives more difficult. The result was that the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah split along a North/South divide, and an animosity was established between the Samaritans and the Jews that the gospels record as being present more than 800 years later.

Yet the bold claim of the Gospels is that in Jesus Christ, we at last have a king, a leader, we can trust absolutely. One who seeks not his own wealth and power, but comes to us as a servant, just as the wise men had tried to encourage Rehoboam to be (see 1 King 12:7). In Jesus, we have a king who does not rule with whips and scorpions but is ‘gentle and humble of heart’. A king whose ‘yoke is easy’ and whose ‘burden is light’ (Matthew 11:29-30).

As we look upon our broken and divided world, and its dearth of good leadership, let us declare with joy the coming reign of Jesus Christ.

Our Father in Heaven, we pray that that the kingdom of Christ may live in our hearts and come to our world; that you will free all the world to rejoice in his peace, to glory in his justice and to live in his love. To you be the glory forever and ever.

Study by Gavin Henderson


About the Author:
Gavin Henderson is an Elder and the Operations Manager of the National Ministry Team for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

Local Congregation:
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