November 18, 2021
Alleys Chapel UMC
2 Kings 22:1-10 (NLT)
1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath.
The Measure of Success
2 He did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right.
3 In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and grandson of Meshullam, the court secretary, to the Temple of the LORD. He told him,
4 “Go to Hilkiah the high priest and have him count the money the gatekeepers have collected from the people at the LORD’s Temple.
5 Entrust this money to the men assigned to supervise the restoration of the LORD’s Temple. Then they can use it to pay workers to repair the Temple.
6 They will need to hire carpenters, builders, and masons. Also have them buy the timber and the finished stone needed to repair the Temple.
7 But don’t require the construction supervisors to keep account of the money they receive, for they are honest and trustworthy men.”
8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the LORD’s Temple!” Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it.
9 Shaphan went to the king and reported, “Your officials have turned over the money collected at the Temple of the LORD to the workers and supervisors at the Temple.”
10 Shaphan also told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” So Shaphan read it to the king.
DevotionAs I write this, we in Virginia have just completed a gubernatorial election. Virginia governors cannot succeed themselves so, there is new leadership in the statehouse every four years. Newly elected governors are realistic in their understanding that they cannot achieve all their agenda in a single term. Likewise, Josiah understood that he could not achieve restoration in his lifetime. In those situations, what is the measure of success? What is the legacy to be left by those who lead?
Because Josiah understood restoration was not possible in his lifetime, he focused on something else – preserving the covenant. Unlike restoration, preservation of the covenant was a goal that was achievable. When we see the covenant as God’s caring relationship with his people then we come to understand that leadership is not status, or position, or authority, or something we cling to. Rather it is how we live out our lives, wherever we are, whatever our role, in relationship with others.
Leadership can be likened to shepherding – an analogy we are all familiar with. Leadership like shepherding is about service to others, and that requires a servant’s heart.
In each of us God has created something unique and useful for God’s purpose and God burnishes us with our life experiences. These life experiences are teaching moments and they bring maturity and clarity of purpose to our lives – two things essential for the heart of a servant.
I once served as a Scout Master and my mantra for camping trips was, “leave this place cleaner than when you arrived”. If the Holy Spirit is within us and we have the heart of a servant then the measure of our leadership, our legacy, will be to leave this world a better place than when we arrived.