Bible Studies for Life Lesson for June 6- When Leaders Fail
May 26 2010 by Dale Austin Jr., associate pastor, Wakeminster Baptist Church, Raleigh

Focal Passages: 1 Samuel 2:22-25; 3:11-21

When leaders fail, the accepted practice is to kick them while they are down.

Well, at least that is what happens if you are a religious or political leader, and the media gets hold of your story.

This week we start a new four-part Bible study with the theme of “God Is Still In Control.”

Often when we see our leaders slip or fail, we become discouraged and angry.

During the next few weeks, we will be discussing how God is still in control even when we fail, our leaders fail, and things just get tough.

Our passages from 1 Samuel detail the events leading up to a major period of change for Israel.

God was moving from a time of the judges into the time of the prophets and kings.  

Eli was the elderly high-priest with his sons assisting as priests.

Eli becomes a foster father for a young Samuel who comes to live with Eli in Shiloh after being dedicated to God.

Eli does an excellent job in raising the young Samuel, but Eli’s sons have strayed far from the path that God intended for His priests.

The sons of Eli began making their own rules regarding the sacrifices for God; they also sank into the pit of sexual immorality.

We have only one recorded half-hearted attempt by Eli to confront his sons and assert his parental duties/priestly responsibilities to address their sins.

Nothing changes, so eventually God speaks with Samuel to let Samuel know that something extraordinary is going to happen in Israel.

God was going to begin the process of moving away from judges to lead the people to prophets who could more accurately spread God’s Word to the people.

Samuel was going to be the last of the judges and the first of the prophets, while Eli and the sons of Eli would miss out on a great blessing because of their failing spiritual leadership.

How does this biblical account apply to us today?

All leaders fail at some point, since we are all sinners.

This is not an excuse for failure, but it is just a simple fact.

Just as God expected Eli to handle the priests under his leadership (including his sons), we as leaders have to be willing to take God’s word and apply it to use in our lives, our churches, our communities, and our country. 

What can we do to become the leaders that God intends for all of His followers to be?

Christians should be willing to accept new leadership as God raises them up — just like Samuel was “promoted” to be a new type of leader for Israel.

We also need to understand that misconduct by some leaders (political or spiritual) does not excuse us from obeying God’s Word.

Lastly, we are to try and bring any leader or follower back to the correct path if they do stray from God’s leadership.  
5/26/2010 7:07:00 AM by Dale Austin Jr., associate pastor, Wakeminster Baptist Church, Raleigh | with 0 comments

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