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Absent Leadership, Present Sin Absent Leadership, Present Sin

Absent Leadership, Present Sin

A shareholder revolt in 2017 made it impossible for Uber founder Travis Kalanick to remain the leader of his company. The loss of support from those leading the company was followed by an investigation into the practices of the ride-sharing business. Kalanick’s removal from leadership allowed people to realize the extent of the problems within the operation and culture of the company.

In the midst of Israel’s rampant idolatry, the Lord removed the resources supporting the leadership in Israel. Natural resources of food and water, military strength, government officials, and skilled labor all meet their demise (vv. 2–3). In a similar way to the shake-up at Uber, by removing the resources that allowed the leadership to remain in power, the Lord left His people exposed. They now were vulnerable and in a position to hear from the Lord about their sin. The kindness of Christ and severity of Christ both work to bring about repentance (see Rom. 2:4; 11:22).

An organization without leadership for several years might loosen their qualifications; and in this way, Israel panics out of desperation. Any man with a coat, or even a young child, becomes a candidate for leadership (vv. 6–7, 12)! In the absence of support for a current course of actions, the Lord often reaches us when we panic without any other places of help.

Now the Lord could ask Israel, “What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” (v. 15). When we are without our normal sense of strength and props, we are forced into introspection and able to hear from the Lord that we need complete obedience to Him.

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BY Dr. Eric C. Redmond

Dr. Eric C. Redmond serves as a professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and as associate pastor of adult ministries at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Ill. He is married to Pam and they have five children. He is the author of Say It!  Celebrating Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition (Moody Publishers), Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men's’ Questions about the Church (Crossway), a commentary on Jonah in the Christ-Centered Exposition Series (B&H Publishers), and a study guide on Ephesians in the Knowing the Bible series (Crossway).

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