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Rev. Ira Lee Rosalita February 1, 2018

Spiritual Leadership from the OT

According to John Piper (2011) he defines the spiritual leadership as “knowing where

God wants people to be and taking the initiative to use God’s methods to get them there in

reliance on God’s power. The answer to where God wants people to be is in a spiritual condition

and lifestyle that display his glory and honor his name.” When most people think of leadership,

they picture a military officer giving out orders or an employer closely supervising his

employees, making sure all the work gets done. These aspects can be part of leadership, but they

are not the essence of spiritual leadership. Firstly, let us define what Spiritual Leadership is—it is

a servant leadership. Jesus Christ Himself taught us, "just as the Son of Man did not come to be

served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many". Spiritual leadership involves

humbling yourself and doing the tasks that no one else wants to do. Spiritual leadership insists on

humility. Humility is the attitude that puts others ahead of you, that considers others more

important than yourself, also requires integrity.

The query now is, who are the Spiritual Leaders that can be found in the Old Testament

book? In my research, there are seven leaders that I found who has the gift of spiritual leadership

and these are; Joshua, King Saul, King David, King Solomon, King Jehoshaphat, King Hezekiah

and Ezra.

According to (ThoughtCo, n.d.) “Joshua in the Bible began life in Egypt as a slave, under

cruel Egyptian taskmasters, but he rose to be the leader of Israel through faithful obedience to

God. Joshua followed God's strange instructions for the battle of Jericho. For six days the army

marched around the city. On the seventh day, they marched seven times, shouted, and the walls

fell down flat. The Israelites swarmed in, killing every living thing except Rahab and her


Because Joshua was obedient, God performed another miracle at the battle of Gibeon. He

made the sun stand still in the sky for an entire day so the Israelites could wipe out their enemies


King Saul

According to gotQuestions, The life of King Saul could be summed up in a modern

cliché: It’s not how you start; It’s how you finish. Saul started out very well only to see his

subsequent disobedient actions derail what could have been a stellar, God-honoring rule over the

nation of Israel. He was God’s chosen one to lead the scattered nation of Israel, a collection of

tribes that did not have a central leader other than God and no formal government.”

In times of trouble, leaders would arise but never consolidated power of the twelve tribes

into one nation.

King David

In Spiritual Leadership, Henry Blackaby is correct when he states, “the greatness of an

organization will be directly proportional to the greatness of its leader” (Blackaby, 2001).

David’s leadership style reflects an appropriate fear of God and a willingness to continue

growing spiritually. In Spiritual Leadership, Blackaby believes “there is an added dimension to

the growth of a spiritual leader that is not found in secular leadership development. That

dimension is the active work of the Holy Spirit in the leaders’ life” (Blackaby, 2001, 42).

King Solomon

One of the greatest qualities of a Christian leader is to have Godly wisdom. The best

example of a person who had wisdom and how we can gain it is the story of King Solomon.

According to Dan Black (2012), “The formula for being an indispensable leader is: Strong faith

+ Godly wisdom + right choices = A leader who has character and good judgment which

provides the leader with sustainable influence and positive impact. The main priority as a leader

and person of faith is to serve and love God with all our life. In Matthew 22 Jesus taught the

greatest commandment is to ‘love God with all your heart, soul, and mind’.”

God will guide, direct, and lead us down the right path if we have Him at the center of

our life and action. The result of following this commandment leads to a leader having character

and integrity.
King Jehoshaphat

As a king, Jehoshaphat provides three examples of godly leadership according to

Matthew Fretwell (2017), these are “Godly leaders unite, instead of divide; Godly leaders seek

prayer first and Godly leaders pursue wisdom & discernment.” He stated that “As it happens in

the end, Jehoshaphat’s discernment was correct. Jehoshaphat’s example conveys that godly

leaders make decisions based upon wisdom and discernment—not upon the status quo or popular

choice. Godliness is not about popularity or platform, but God’s will.”

King Jehoshaphat’s story relates well to leadership. Even though everyone may desire a

certain outcome, it does not mean that it’s the right one. Godly leaders must not discard

discernment and wisdom for approval, admiration, or popularity.

King Hezekiah

According to (Holmes, 2011) “Hezekiah is a model for all millenialists called to fix or

repair something. He cut down the serpent Moses made because though it originally had a noble

intent it became a hindrance. It got in the way of people and God. You as a leader have to be

willing to ‘cut down’ all hindrances. What stops most people from becoming great leaders is

their unwillingness to cut down these bronze serpents. All the other kings before Hezekiah saw it

and probably saw the effects of it…but only Hezekiah cut it down. Whether it be a tradition,

dogma, way of life, or system…if it’s a hindrance it’s got to go! It won’t go overnight and you

will get flak for ‘thinking such a thing’…but you know what God has called you to do.”

According to Pastor Sean (Harris, n.d.), “Ezra 7:10 provides a theme verse for the

spiritual leader. The spiritual leader must prepare his heart to seek the Word of God, “and do it,

and to teach it” to his people. John MacArthur has some strong advice for the spiritual leader in

his work Pastoral Ministry: How to Shepherd Biblically; he strongly stresses that the spiritual

leader “must model every aspect of spiritual leadership”.

Ezra’s righteous personal lifestyle was critical to his ability to call the people toward

establishing a right covenantal relationship with God.


Black, D. (2012, December 20). Retrieved from

Blackaby, H. (2001).

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Fretwell, M. (2017, March 11).

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gotQuestions. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Harris, P. S. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Holmes, M. (2011, February 9).

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PIPER, J. (2011, 12 15).

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ThoughtCo. (n.d.).

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