The problem of devious leaders is not new. Is there nothing we can we do about manipulative leaders? No. We can do more than just complain.
So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. II Samuel 15:6b
And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples,“Beware of the scribes.” Luke 20:45-46a
How easily impressive, charismatic leaders with seeming power and wisdom lead people astray!
Absalom carefully mounted a campaign that would rival that of any of our current crop of politicians. He spent money to equip himself with a chariot and horses and a company of men to run before him. Then he made it a practice to station himself where he could talk to people who had legal problems. He worked the crowds doing the grassroots campaign thing. He made promises about the great improvements he would bring if he were in formal leadership.
In short, he stole the hearts of the people.
Then the day came when he made his move. David’s support collapsed like a house of cards, and Israel followed Absalom as their new king. It almost worked, and except for the providence of God it would have worked. The point is people are fickle and can easily be won over by a powerful person making compelling promises of a better life.
In Jesus’ day, the scribes were viewed with awe. They were dignified, seemed to be spiritual, disciplined in piety. Everyone recognized them. At the same time, they used their knowledge of the law to take financial advantage of unsuspecting widows. Jesus warned His disciples to beware of them.
Think about it
The problem of devious religious and political leaders is not new. Certainly, both the Church and our nation need leaders of character and integrity, but those who rise to high positions are not always to be trusted and never to be trusted blindly.
Pray for our leaders both in the Church and in society. Beware of those who veer off from God’s truth. Do not be led astray. Study the Scriptures and seek God’s wisdom. And remember: we are not home yet. Jesus Christ is the only true leader who is never manipulative. Someday His Kingdom will come in full and He will be our truly wise and powerful and beneficent leader.