Monday, July 16

Remember your leaders

Scripture: Isaiah 25-28, Hebrews 13

Hebrews 13:7 Remember you leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith.

Isaiah 28:7 Even these stagger because of wine and stumble under the influence of beer: priest and prophet stagger because of beer, they are confused by wine.  They stumble because of beer, they are muddled in their visions, they stumble in their judgments.

Observation

The author of Hebrews concludes his letter with practical advice including this verse on remembering your leaders and imitating their faith.

Isaiah’s prophecy of woe on Samaria (the northern kingdom of Israel) includes this statement that Israel’s spiritual leaders, priests and prophets, were “under the influence.”  Their drinking was causing them to stagger (2X) and stumble (3X) and be confused and muddled.

Application

“Remember your leaders” (and the verse on alcohol) made me think of two very influential leaders in my life.

One of them, a man whose leadership, thinking and influence I value highly, recently had to step down because of alleged sexual indiscretions.  I don’t know what he did or didn’t do, but many of the stories involved alcohol.  As a friend of mine said about drinking, “That will never make you smarter.”  Alcohol is a depressant, and inhibits clear thinking and decision making.  In Isaiah’s words, it confuses and muddles our thinking, causing us to stumble and stagger.  My friend stumbled.  I am not blaming it all on alcohol—but it certainly didn’t make him any smarter, and might have contributed to his poor decision making.  Certainly being alone with a women who is not your wife and drinking are a bad combo!  All of this was one more reminder for me of why I don’t drink.  

In contrast, I also thought of Noel, who finished so well.  When I consider “the outcome of their lives,” I certainly want to imitate Noel—his faith, his relationship with Jesus, his constancy, his love for others.  

Today, I’m going to approach each situation by asking, “What would Noel do?”  It’s hard to go wrong doing that!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for Noel and the example he set for me.  Help me to imitate his faith.  Thank you for my friend who stumbled too—what I learned from him is still valid.  Redeem him and all those involved in this mess.