The Marks of a Leader

2 Chronicles 32:7-8 (NIV)

7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. 8 with him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

Legions of trained Assyrian warriors are about to descend upon Hezekiah and the occupants of the city of Jerusalem. Having done his best in preparation for defense before the mighty army arrived, the King still knew his small forces would falter when the enormous well-trained fighting machine of the Assyrians came into view. And why shouldn’t they fear? Some estimates place the advancing army well over 185,000 strong (That was the amount of Assyrian warriors recorded to have perished on the battlefield).

Hezekiah was trapped like a caged bird (these are the words of the foe, Sennacherib, written on the Taylor Prism) and he was out of options. When confronted with the most difficult of situations, Hezekiah stood strong and fearless in the face of adversity. The Israeli army would look to him for leadership and guidance. And what would they see? The troops saw a man believing God and trusting the sovereign for God’s help. Hezekiah spoke these powerful words, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” These are words that, no doubt, the king had encouraged himself with.

This is the mark of a leader. A leader does not quit and go home. A leader does not stay silent in self-pity. A leader does not allow despair to swallow him up emotionally. He must stand and lead the charge. What bolstered Hezekiah? This leader had friends that supported him. Read Isaiah the prophet who stood and encouraged the king to continue. God was with Hezekiah and would help him in his hour of need. Knowing this alone was enough to help the king carry the Marks of a Leader.

J. Robert Hanson


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