Read 2 Kings 15:13-22
Shallum King of Israel
13 Shallum son of Jabesh became king in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah, and he reigned in Samaria one month. 14 Then Menahem son of Gadi went from Tirzah up to Samaria. He attacked Shallum son of Jabesh in Samaria, assassinated him and succeeded him as king.
15 The other events of Shallum’s reign, and the conspiracy he led, are written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel.
16 At that time Menahem, starting out from Tirzah, attacked Tiphsah and everyone in the city and its vicinity, because they refused to open their gates. He sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women.
Menahem King of Israel
17 In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem son of Gadi became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria ten years. 18 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. During his entire reign he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit.
19 Then Pul[a] king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem gave him a thousand talents[b] of silver to gain his support and strengthen his own hold on the kingdom. 20 Menahem exacted this money from Israel. Every wealthy person had to contribute fifty shekels[c] of silver to be given to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria withdrew and stayed in the land no longer.
21 As for the other events of Menahem’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 22 Menahem rested with his ancestors. And Pekahiah his son succeeded him as king.
When we do not turn away from the evil patterns of the world, poor leadership qualities develop causing confusion.
Leaders Seek God’s Timing
The world tells us to take what is not ours. Greed and pride scream at us to pursue the evil patterns of this world. We can see this when Menahem decided to kill Shallum for the kingdom. He took what was not rightfully given to him. Taking what is not given to us shows our lack of faith in God’s provision to remain true to His promises.
Remember the story of David in the cave where he had the chance to kill Saul and become king in 1 Samuel 24? God promised David the kingdom, but there was something morally and ethically wrong with killing to take the power of the kingdom. David sought God’s path instead of his own.
Great leaders refrain from immoral and unethical decisions and remain patient and seek God’s timing to provide his promises.
Leaders Seek Change and Uniqueness
When we follow the patterns of past evil leaders, we fail to be set apart as God calls us to be. God wants us to be unique and different which requires change. Menahem chose to succumb to the patterns and character previous kings.
Great leaders are bold enough to take steps of faith to be different from the popular habits and patterns in the world. They have the awareness to know what has been happening, and the courage to change it.
Leaders Seek God’s Solutions
We need to seek God for solutions instead of the world as it creates opportunity to shine light into the dark. Menahem did not trust in God’s provision and sought his own counsel. So, he did not have the awareness or the boldness to depart from the evil ways of his predecessors.
As a result, his kingdom was being attack by Assyria because of his failure to depart from his evil ways. Menahem sought his own counsel and collected money from the wealthy to pay off Assyria to continue in his ways. He did not seek God throughout his reign; he did nothing significant or impactful; as a result, he died with his fathers.
Great leaders lean not on their own understanding and seek God’s wisdom to light their path.