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The Bible Day 35: “The Essence of Leadership” (Psalm 18:25-36, Matthew 23:1-39, Job 33-34)

Introduction: The Bible Day 35: "The Essence of Leadership" (Psalm 18:25-36, Matthew 23:1-39, Job 33-34)

Introduction: The Essence of Leadership

Leadership is adaptable, encompassing integrity, humility, service, wisdom, and understanding. We explore these fundamental characteristics that define effective leadership by drawing inspiration from Psalm 18:25- 36, Matthew 23:1-39, and Job 33-34.

Wisdom Reading Psalm 18:25-36: Teaching Characteristics of Leadership

1. Confidence:

- Psalm 18:29: "With your help, I can advance against a troop; with my God, I can scale a wall."

- Leaders exhibit confidence in their abilities, knowing they can overcome obstacles and succeed with divine assistance.

- This verse emphasizes reliance on God's strength, illustrating the importance of faith and self-assurance in leadership.

2. Protection:

- Psalm 18:30: "As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him."

- Leaders provide protection and refuge for those under their care, mirroring God's role as a shield for his people.

- This verse underscores the importance of creating a safe and secure environment for followers, fostering trust and loyalty.

3. Strength:

- Psalm 18:32: "It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure."

- Leaders draw strength from God, recognizing their dependence on divine empowerment rather than relying solely on their abilities.

- This verse highlights the humility of influential leaders, acknowledging that true strength comes from a higher source.

4. Training:

- Psalm 18:34: "He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze."

- Leaders undergo training and preparation to equip themselves for their challenges, just as warriors prepare for battle.

- This verse emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and development in leadership, honing skills and abilities for greater effectiveness.

5. Guidance:

- Psalm 18:36: "You provide a broad path for my feet so that my ankles do not give way."

- Leaders seek guidance from God to navigate the complexities of their roles, trusting in divine direction to lead them along the right path.

- This verse underscores the need for leaders to remain grounded in their faith and to seek wisdom and guidance from spiritual sources.

In Psalm 18:25-36, we find teachings on confidence, protection, strength, training, and guidance, all essential characteristics of effective leadership. As leaders emulate these qualities, they can inspire and empower those under their care to reach their full potential and achieve shared goals.

New Testament Reading - Breakdown of Matthew 23:1-39: Teaching Characteristics of Leadership

1. Character and Integrity:

- Matthew 23:3: "So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach."

- True leaders exhibit character and integrity by aligning their actions with their teachings.

- This verse highlights the importance of consistency and authenticity in leadership, as leaders lead by example.

2. Authenticity:

- Matthew 23:5: "Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their charms wide and the tassels on their garments long."

- Authentic leaders do not seek validation or recognition for their actions but act sincerely and genuineness.

- This verse warns against superficial displays of righteousness, emphasizing the need for leaders to act from a place of authenticity and genuine concern for others.

3. Humility:

- Matthew 23:11-12: "The greatest among you will be your servant. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

- Humility is a hallmark of effective leadership, as leaders prioritize the needs of others above their own.

- This teaching emphasizes the conflicting nature of leadership, where true greatness is found in serving others selflessly and humbly.

4. Compassion:

- Matthew 23:37: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing."

- Leaders demonstrate compassion and empathy towards those they lead, even in the face of rejection or resistance.

- This verse portrays Jesus' heartfelt compassion for the people of Jerusalem, illustrating the depth of empathy leaders should have toward their followers.

5. Vision and Focus:

- Matthew 23:23: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill, and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness."

- Effective leaders maintain a clear vision and focus on what truly matters, prioritizing justice, mercy, and faithfulness principles.

- This verse admonishes leaders to avoid getting bogged down in trivial matters and to remain steadfast in pursuing righteousness and moral integrity.

6. Generosity:

- Matthew 23:23: "You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former."

- True leaders are generous in their actions and attitudes, balancing adherence to rules with a spirit of generosity and compassion.

- This verse encourages leaders to embrace a holistic approach to leadership, encompassing both adherence to principles and a generous spirit toward others.

In Matthew 23:1-39, we find teachings on character, integrity, authenticity, humility, compassion, vision, focus, and generosity, all essential characteristics of effective leadership. As leaders embody these qualities, they can inspire and empower those under their care to flourish and thrive.

In Job 33-34, Elihu presents himself as a wise counselor to Job, but upon closer examination, his words reveal elements of arrogance and deception. Let's break down these chapters and highlight these aspects:

1. Arrogance of Elihu:

- Elihu claims to speak on behalf of God with great confidence, asserting his superiority over Job and the other friends (Job 33:1-7).

- He portrays himself as more righteous and wise than Job, suggesting that Job's suffering results from his sinfulness (Job 33:8-12).

2. Deception of Elihu:

- Elihu misinterprets Job's words and accuses him of justifying himself rather than God (Job 33:12-13).

- He presents simplistic explanations for suffering, attributing it solely to God's desire to bring about repentance (Job 33:15-30).

- Elihu suggests that Job's complaints are arrogant and that he should humble himself before God (Job 33:31-33).

3. Spiritual Teachings on Leadership:

- Leadership should be grounded in humility and compassion, not arrogance and self-righteousness. Jesus exemplified servant leadership, washing his disciples' feet (John 13:1-17).

- True spiritual leadership involves understanding and empathy rather than quick judgments and condemnations. Paul encourages leaders to be patient, gentle, and humble (Ephesians 4:2-3).

- Job's friends and Elihu failed to provide genuine comfort and guidance because they lacked humility and empathy. Proverbs 11:2 reminds us that pride leads to disgrace, but humility leads to wisdom.

- In Job 34:1-3, Elihu was not preaching to make others wiser; instead, the stent of his preaching was his pride in showing his superior wisdom, trying to make himself seem more righteous than Job. In Job 32:21-22, Elihu said, "I will show no partiality, nor will I flatter anyone; for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away." Elihu started strong, but in the end, his arrogance and prideful behaviors got the best of him, and in the end, we sided with retribution theology.

- Elihu twists the words of Job again in Jon 34:5-8; this was Elihu's attempt to strengthen his argument. I call this word scramble; when individuals twist your words, it's highly deceptive to do this to anyone.

- See the nastiness of Elihu in v. 37; he accused Job of having deserved his scourges and of having sinned after the scourges.


In summary, Elihu's discourse in Job 33-34 reveals his arrogance and deception and shows his true colors as a false teacher wolf appearing in sheep's clothing. Still, Elihu's sins highlight a bigger picture of the importance of humility and empathy in spiritual leadership, qualities that Elihu failed to demonstrate to Job.

In Christ, love Jared W. Campbell

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