Read Isaiah 22
Focus on verse 3
When a vacuum is created it will at the first opportunity, draw whatever is nearest into the vacuum to equalize the pressure. When a strong leader is suddenly or unexpectedly removed a leadership vacuum is created which not only causes confusion in the organization, but it places the organization at risk of choosing to follow any strong leader willing to step into the vacuum. Depending on what kind of leader it is who happens to be in position to step up determines the future of the organization. If no one steps into the vacuum, the organization may begin to unravel and disintegrate as people abandon it.
In today’s reading Isaiah issues an oracle in regard to the future of Jerusalem. He says, “All you leaders have fled together without the bow they were captured. All of you who were found were captured, though they had fled far away.” This seems to be in reference to the impending fall and capture of Jerusalem that will come as a consequence of the people of Judah abandoning the worship of God in favor of worshipping the false gods of the people they had displaced. While all the people are guilty, the greatest responsibility rests upon the leaders. Those who were called to lead God’s people in the Old Testament were more privileged than the common people but along with that privilege came the responsibility to lead the people in obedience to the Lord. Therefore, when the people abandoned God, God held the leaders responsible for the transgression.
This basic principle has not changed. Those who are called to lead God’s people continue to carry a greater burden of responsibility to hold the people of God accountable to walk in obedience to Him. If the leaders abandon their posts, the people are left more vulnerable to the deceptive schemes of the enemy of our souls who prowls about seeking those who he can devour and destroy. It is important therefore to consider carefully if one is called to lead. The New Testament warns not to be too hasty to take on leadership within the church, yet it also calls it a great honor to be called. The bottom line seems to come back to obedience. To step into a leadership role if one is not called to do so is no more detrimental to the church than to fail to step up when one is called. Either way, the enemy wins. The solution would seem to be simple. If you are called and you know it… do your job! If you are not called and you know it… don’t let even the desperate need of leadership convince you to try it. If you are not certain… pray for wisdom and discernment and seek counsel from some wise people who know you well. Either way we all have a role and responsibility to use the gifts, which we each have been given to serve our community and one another as the Body of Christ.