Sometimes I run across rather obscure individuals in the Bible that are recorded there because I think they are examples for what a leader looks like.
Othniel is one of those individuals that you see capturing an entire town for the love of a woman. That makes him extra special – and that woman is a rather astute leader herself and she knows what they need as a family to survive and goes after it.
For some time we never hear about him again – it was a pure and simple love story.
Over time, the people fall away from God – there is a downward spiral of sin and fall into enemy hands. The pattern of sin, sorrow, repentance and restoration – the cycle of sin – begins with the very first leader to restore the people back into a relationship with God. That leader, who became a judge over Israel, was Othniel.
All this time he kept faithful to his relationship with God. When everyone else was doing their thing, worshiping whatever idol seemed to be the flavour of the month, Othniel kept his relationship with God intact and followed only Him.
What an incredible encouragement to me! When everyone was going one way – away from God – Othniel kept going towards God, even though that was not so popular a thing to do. That is what made him who he was – a decision every morning that he would follow God – no matter what came against him.
At the end of the day, when people start waking up and realizing that they have strayed so far that they are totally outside of God’s grace, they look for someone to lead them back. It is a hard road, requiring someone who knows the voice of the shepherd.
It helps when God empowers us for the job with His Holy Spirit, something we should be asking for each day too for we do not know the day that we will be called upon to lead. The sure sign of God’s leading is that with Him comes peace. In Othniel’s case – peace for 40 years.
That surely is a great story of someone who said they would commit to following God, no matter, and place their lives under the stewardship of God and lead others from that relationship.
- The men and women of Judges (nelima.wordpress.com)