RESPONSIBLITY: Leaders Cannot Give It Away
2 Chronicles 20:1-25
A leader can delegate anything except responsibility. Leaders cannot simply give it away. They can model it; they can teach it; they can share it. But in the words of President Harry Truman, the buck stops with the leader.
Responsibility – “the ability to meet obligations; the act of being accountable; a duty of trust”. It’s the ability to make and keep commitments.
When Jehoshaphat became king of Judah, he assumed a trust. Like all kings, he was to lead and protect the people, and manage the resources of the nation. An army from three countries laid plans to attack Judah. Reports of their activity frightened the king (2 Chr. 20:3). No doubt, he faced the same options we all face in a crisis: give up, back up, or stand up. At such times we find out the quality of our leadership:
1. The dropouts: leaders who give up and fail to take responsibility.
2. The cop-outs: leaders who make excuses why not responsible.
3. The hold-outs: leaders who waiver too long to take responsibility.
4. The all-outs: leaders who own the responsibility and take action.
What steps did Jehoshaphat Take?
1. He fought his fear (vv. 2, 3). Jehoshaphat was terrified, but he didn’t let it paralyze him. He stayed calm enough to think.
2. He sought the Lord (vv. 3, 6-13). Before he did anything else, he sought perspective by praying and seeking wisdom from God.
3. He brought the synergy (vv. 3, 4). He didn’t act alone but gathered the people to inform them of the issue.
4. He caught the vision (vv. 14-17). He listened to the voice of the Lord until he knew what to do.
5. He bought the idea (vv. 18, 19). He bowed his head and began to embrace the steps he and his nation had to take.
6. He taught the plan (vv. 20-23). He assembled the key players and gave them instructions on what each had to do.
7. He got the victory (vv. 24, 25). He followed through with precision and succeeded, Just as God predicted.
“21” Crucial Qualities of Christians: #16 – Responsibility
I. The Quality Defined
a. Matt. 25:21, 23
II. David Owns Up
a. 1 Chronicles 21:1-30
b. 1 Chronicles 22:1
III. Jonah Repents and Gets a Second Chance
a. Jonah 1:1-17
b. Jonah 2:1-10
c. Jonah 3:1-10
IV. Pilate Washes His Hands
a. Matthew 27:11-26
a. Matt. 25:21, 23
I. Moral Purity Is Consistent With the Grace We Have Received
a. Titus 2:11
b. Rom. 6:1-2, 12-14
c. 2 Cor. 1:12
d. Heb. 12:14-16
II. Moral Purity Makes A Definite Distinction Between Christians and the World
a. Titus 2:12
b. Rom. 13:12-14
c. John 15:17-19
d. 2 Cor. 6:14-18
III. Moral Purity Keeps Us Prepared For Christ’s Return
a. Titus 2:13
b. 1 John 3:1-3
c. 2 Pet. 3:10-14
d. Col. 3:4-9
IV. Moral Purity Is Essential If We Are To Be (And Seen As) The People of God
a. Titus 2:14, 6-8
b. Titus 3:3-5, 8
Pontius Pilate Failed to Lead
President Harry Truman was right when he said, “The buck stops here.” Leaders cannot pass the buck. We cannot lead without taking responsibility. It comes with the territory.
Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Israel, gives us a sad example of a leader who failed to take responsibility. When Jesus appeared before him for judgment, he could find nothing wrong with Him. Yet instead of judging Him as innocent, he succumbed to the pressure of the crowd. Sensing they wanted to punish an innocent man, he gave them a choice. Barabbas or Jesus? When they wrongly chose Jesus as the more guilty man, Pilate walked over to a basin of water and tried to wash his hands of any responsibility for his decision. He pretended he could evade ownership of the consequences. Pilate committed the sin of omission and tried to get off on a legal technicality.
None of this surprised the Jews, since Pilate had a history of such behavior. He tended to withdraw whenever things heated up. Once he put the Roman eagle in the temple, prompting 5,000 Jews to march to his vacation home to demand he remove it. He called in the army and demanded they leave. When they refused, he threatened to cut off their heads. The Jews go down on their knees, in essence saying, “Go ahead!” Shocked by their moral conviction, he backed down. From that point on, the Jews knew this man lacked a backbone and would run from responsibility. He illustrates moral and political compromise.
Just why did Pilate “wash his hands” of responsibility?
1. He had a problem with foundations (v. 22).
2. He had a problem with futility (vv. 23, 24).
3. He had a problem with fear (v. 24).
4. He had a problem with failure (v. 24).
5. He had a problem with focus (v. 24).