If you’ve worked for any time at all, you have discovered that leadership changes drastically effectsthe entire organization. In this passage, a new king was put in charge. It happened during a time when Israel was flourishing. They had been rescued through Joseph and had been increasing in number and worth. The new king, the passage says, didn’t know Joseph. THE Joseph who God has used to save the entire kingdom from starvation, was unknown to him. What the king did know was that these people were a threat to his power, his reign, and his control. Israel found themselves enslaved and had a choice of how they would respond.
I hope that this is not a familiar life story to you. The story of a leader coming in and assuming a place of dictatorship, but it is one I have experienced and hear so often. How should we as believers respond to such a circumstance? We can leave, we can fight against the new leader, we can bitterly endure, or we can submit to the change in authority with the knowledge that we are working for a different boss. There are times to leave, but we should consider whether or not God desires for us to remain as a light in the darkness. No matter how much oppression this new ruler placed on the people, they continued to multiply and spread abroad. God has a way of rewarding our faithful efforts in ways we do not always see.
As leaders or employees, we must all recognize that we are not working for man, but for God (Col 3:23). We must walk the line of submitting to earthly authority, while above that submitting to God’s greater authority and trusting Him with the outcome. Corrupt leadership is everywhere. Workers being asked to perform unethically is common, but we as believers have a choice of serving man or God (Gal. 1:10). We know, in the end, which leader reigns victorious. He is trustworthy and able to honor us for our choices as we walk humbly in integrity.
Kings will come and go. Some will be kind and some will be slave masters. They have power to change what the day to day looks like for us, but their power runs short. We have a King who has come to redeem and reconcile the world to God. A Ruler who does so perfectly and with all wisdom. Be reminded of the Good Shephard we have the pleasure of knowing and serving. He leads us by still waters and anoints our heads with oil. He is also the King of kings who has all authority, glory, and power. On days where you may be discouraged about who your earthly kings are, be reminded that you serve an all-sufficient Savior who has solved the biggest problem you’ll ever face and who is walking with you through everything else. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
Day 1: How do you respond during times of leadership change? Do you embrace it or put up walls of protection?
Day 2: As a leader, are you one that acts justly, loves mercy, and walks humbly with your God? What does that look like played out in every day interactions and decisions?
Day 3: God came a baby and lives as both a Shephard and a King. When you think of those two terms, what description of God comes to your mind?
Day 4: When you look at your daily life, do you find that you are serving man or serving God?
Day 5: When you’re under the reign of poor leadership, at any level, do you lean into the Truth of God’s supremacy? What does it look like for you to serve whole-heartedly regardless of how leadership treats you?
I have the privilege of serving on the executive team of At Work on Purpose. Currently I have jumped head first into a new startup focused on simple tools for employee engagement called AroVitas. I’m also the founder and admin for an online English school for Chinese students called ASEnglish4u. I have the privilege of teaching Math to middle schoolers at St. Martin of Tours, and God chose me to be the mom to the happiest little adopted baby boy around (slightly partial). I love learning and have a huge heart bent towards injustice and God’s love for the underprivileged.