What’s the Best Bible Examples to Help With Crisis? – Hezekiah’s Story
Do you have a plan to help with crisis situations? A crisis leader is one who comes to the forefront during the darkest hours to meet a challenge that has presented itself. This leader brings hope and enthusiasm to a downtrodden group so that they can meet the challenge and make the necessary sacrifices for victory. Just as success builds a leader’s credibility so will defeats create a leadership crisis. History is replete with people who came forward during dark times to lead people to success (Towns, Elmer, 2007).
Research has shown that crisis leadership demands a different set of skills than general leadership. Research into the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by Harvard researchers has come to this conclusion. In a report issued September 2007, the researchers released their findings. It is not surprising to see that leadership is determined as being the key to resolving a crisis. Leaders who can make quick and decisive decisions are crucial. A leader in the midst of a crisis lacks the luxury of time. Therefore these leaders have to make decisions quicker with less information than under ordinary circumstances (Walker, Richard W., 2007).
Hezekiah came to the throne during a dark period in Judah’s history. Due to the evil his father had perpetrated during his reign, there were low expectations for Hezekiah as a ruler. However, Hezekiah showed that one could overcome his environment to become a reformer and to be considered to be a pious king. By the time he came to the throne, Judah was at a very low state. Due to the wickedness of Ahaz, the actual worship of God had disappeared, and the people were engrossed in the foulest pagan rituals and religions. The strength of the kingdom had waned under the flawed and failed leadership of Ahaz. The nation was in crisis. Hezekiah was a reformer. He abolished idolatry and called his followers back to the pure worship of God uncorrupted by pagan influences (Lockyer, Herbert, 1961). The study of Hezekiah’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will provide valuable lessons in crisis leadership for any student of leadership.
Hezekiah’s Strengths to Help With Crisis
Hezekiah came to rule in Judah in a time of in an uncertain context. The population had wandered far from the worship of God. They sought after pagan gods and rituals with festivals of hedonistic pleasures and gruesome sacrifices. The people felt threatened by foreign enemies as new powers rose to prominence and old enemies rattled their sabers. Hezekiah made a firm stand for God which is prevalent among those of the irritable temperament (Towns, Elmer, 2007). Hezekiah used the Law of Problem Solving to bring about religious reforms and to counter foreign threats.
Regarding his religious reforms, Hezekiah used the Law of Process. He understood that his religious reforms would now be an immediate change since Hezekiah’s goal was to win over the heart of the people. The Law of Process states merely that a leader develops daily over a period of time and not immediately (Maxwell, John, 1998/2007). He invested a great deal of time and energy in reforming the religious system and key to this reform was the rebuilding of the Temple, which had not been properly maintained. He knew that the Temple was central to the worship of God. It is these strengths which made Hezekiah the right man for the right time in history.
Hezekiah’s Weakness in Dealing to Help With Crisis
Despite his giftedness for crisis leadership, Hezekiah showed a serious lapse of judgment. It was this episode that demonstrated the weakness of Hezekiah’s choleric temperament that is the tendency not to rely upon God. After God had healed Hezekiah from a deadly illness, he entertained guests from Babylon (Lockyer, Herbert, 1961).
It was at this moment that Hezekiah gave into conceit and believed in his importance. Divine and secular blessings had been poured out upon him enriching him greatly. The divine account reveals that “his heart was lifted up” (KJV). The king of Babylon sought favor from Hezekiah. Therefore, he sent a delegation bearing gifts and a letter of congratulations on his recovery. In this moment of weakness consumed by pride, Hezekiah showed the delegation the riches and secrets of his kingdom. The king was confronted with his sin, humbled himself, and was assured the threatened devastation would not occur in his lifetime. After this, the king devoted himself to God until his death.
Opportunities to Help With Crisis
Hezekiah sought after God and wanted his people to return to the true worship of God. He realized that this would occur through a process and not a proclamation. He took steps towards reforms and to centralize the worship of God in the Temple once again. According to 2 Chronicles 29:25, he began with the simple steps of repairing the Temple doors, purified the Temple, and restored worship there. Then having this step done, 2 Chronicles 30:1-2 tells of his efforts to bring people of the Northern tribes to worship in Jerusalem. Each success led to more successes as related in 2 Chronicles 30. According to Maxwell, this is the Law of the Big Mo Momentum is the very best friend that a leader can have because it enables him to move his plans forward. Even those of his followers who would be considered average in aptitude were able to do great tasks because of the momentum that had been created (Maxwell, John C., 1998/2007). In naval terms, a ship that is not moving is considered to be in irons because it cannot be steered. Given a little momentum and that ship can be steered. An organization that is in irons can not be steered but a little momentum allows the leader to steer his followers towards his vision, and as momentum is built, the leader can do even greater things to fulfill his vision for the organization.
Threat and Dealing With Crisis
In Isaiah 36, it is recorded that King Sennacherib of Assyria moved against the fortified cities along the northern border of Judah. This action created a crisis for Judah as these cities were crucial to the defense of the nation. The Assyrians continued their assault as they marched on to Jerusalem. Sennacherib was confident of victory as he had already defeated the Northern tribes and sent them into captivity. Hezekiah was confident of divine intervention, but his followers did seek to establish an alliance with Egypt, but this failed. Hezekiah himself had a moment of weaknesses when he sought to bribe the Assyrians with treasures from the Temple. Hezekiah endured ridicule for his expectations of help from Egypt but even more so from for his expectation of divine help (Lockyer, Herbert, 1961).
Hezekiah was careful not to engage in any inflammatory rhetoric that would have intensified the situation. He knew that this situation was a powder keg, and he was not going to do anything to cause a spark. From his investigation, he knew the severity of his situation and the dire straits that the nation found itself. Hezekiah, therefore, turned to prayer to seek God’s assistance. He also turned to wise men such as Isaiah for advice on the best course to follow. It is by these means that Hezekiah was able to come up with a viable plan for the crisis. Hezekiah knew the battle belonged to the Lord. Whereas, conventional wisdom would have Hezekiah either attack in an attempt to breakout or lay up supplies for a long siege, godly wisdom gleaned by Hezekiah was to wait upon the Lord. The Lord moved and granted Hezekiah a great victory (Towns, Elmer, 2007).
A Conclusion in How to Help With Crisis
Hezekiah demonstrated the qualities of a crisis leader. He was able to identify the sources and factors involved in the situation. Hezekiah sought wisdom from God and godly men to create an appropriate strategy to deal with the crisis. This is especially necessary for leaders if the crisis is in an area where the leader lacks wisdom. For leaders, the careful study of the Bible will provide wisdom. Hezekiah implemented a plan then let it follows it course. However, modern day leaders can learn a valuable lesson from Hezekiah’s mistake. That lesson is to be careful in making decisions so to avoid careless actions that can have a long-term negative effect. Much can be learned from Hezekiah in studying his strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that can be beneficial to modern leaders.
Lockyer, Herbert. (1961). All the Kings and Queens of the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
Maxwell, John C. (2007). The Twenty-one Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (Tenth Aniversary ed.). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. (Original work published 1998)
Towns, Elmer L. (2007). Biblical Models for Leadership. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Walker, Richard W. (17 September 2008). Federal Computer Week. In Crisis Leaders Are A Special Breed. Retrieved 8 November 2008 from http://www.fcw.com/print/13_32/news/103675-1.html