Acts Devotionals

Who is the Leader?

You’ll recall I posed the question yesterday … “Why is leadership important?” For a little farm boy, having to go to school at 5 ½ I was extremely disappointed that I was now in a classroom filled with other children having to learn to count using blocks and read, using the John and Jill books … “This is John.” “This is Jill.” Etc. As the year progressed, so did the reading and counting (known as sums … 1 plus 1 equals?). Progressing from standard to standard never helped me understand the reason for this “learning thing” I was forced into. Only much later in my education did I learn that one needs to start at the very beginning if you want to achieve learning in higher standards or post school education. This is true and applies to Christian growth and development as well. Yesterday we started to answer the question … “Why is leadership important?” because we came to a passage in acts where the missionaries appointed Church Leaders. We read:

Ac 14:21 Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church.

How do we get to elders? Who are they? What is their function? We started answering the question … starting at the very beginning … in Genesis chapter 1-2. There we saw that God created the human being with a soul. Firstly He created the male and gave Him various responsibilities as well as a probationary commandment to keep, should he want to live forever and not die! Now we come to Genesis chapter 3 only to find tragedy coming into the most beautiful, holy and God blessed environment … one we shall never know or experience on this earth. (Try and read the whole chapter.)

Ge 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

The serpent (the devil in disguise), being as cunning and seductive as he is, convinced the woman to do what God commanded the man not to do. She did and easily enticed the man to do the same. What is significant here is that God gave Adam the probationary command … not Eve! When she ate she did not break the probationary command. She did wrong but she did not break the command of God. Only when man ate did he break the command. Understand this … he is the representative man. Whatever he did he did for all mankind … for every human being born from him is either blessed or cursed because of what he did … and he disobeyed God and rebelled. So, in him we disobeyed God and rebelled. Adam now being a rebel and sinner means we are born rebels and sinners. Right here in the Garden … in the Paradise of God on earth, the enemy brought sin into the holy place and more … into the human race. Yet God’s plans for man shall not fail … this is why He right there and then promised a Messiah!

Ge 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Then you see how God punishes the woman … who now becomes the substitute woman for all women to follow!

Ge 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

(1) Now bearing children will be a trial, a painful experience. But there is more …

(2) Even though child bearing will be painful, she will desire her husband intimately, knowing full well she will fall pregnant and go through the same painful experience again and again.

(3) Where although the husband was willing, the wife pulled him into rebellion and they lost Paradise. In return, his replacement pleasure would be the wife desiring him and fulling his needs.

(4) Remember, he is the head of the home and even though she usurped his leadership in negotiating with the enemy, he remains the head. We read … he will rule over you. Whatever “rule” means in the context of love, care, provision, protection, etc. it means the man shall fulfil his leadership role without the woman leading him astray again. Some might think this extraordinary, after all we are living in the Twenty-First Century! My response is simple! The Bible is the same yesterday, today and forever, as God is the same yesterday, today and forever! Just listen to God:

Ge 3:17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” 

(i) See that? Because he listen to his wife! He was weak. He did not exercise leadership. The plunge into sin was his fault!

(ii) Man will work hard to make a living.

(iii) Man shall die! Adam was at fault.

(iv) Now God makes him “ruler” over the woman which includes him working hard to care for her.

(v) Lastly, where does the human race come from? 

Ge 3:20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

If the living refers to the human being, the one with a soul, then Eve is the mother of all the living! Through Adam and Eve the human race is procreated! However weak some of the forefathers were and however strong some of the foremothers were, man is God’s appointed head of the wife and flowing from this, he is the head of the family. This still applies, even in the Twenty-First Century. I am aware that the sentiment is against this type of leadership … the man as the head of the wife and family. What we need to remember is that this is not man’s idea, it is God’s ruling. We saw what happened when Adam was weak, He led the coming “race” into sin. Then God “enforces” his leadership as the “ruler” of the wife and the family. But never forget, although many men are either weak or tyrants, the Biblical example of Male Leadership is to be loving, kind and gentle, although firm and Biblical. He shall provide and care, discipline and encourage, love and protect … and overall, he is responsible to God for his wife and family. He shall give an account. The role of “rule” or “head” comes with responsibility and accountability.

Father, grant us men the grace to learn from Your loving Fatherly Heart to be the men, husbands, fathers and leaders you require us to be so that our families might enjoy male leadership living carefully under the ever watchful eye of God. Amen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *