ODJ: fallen

October 22, 2013 

READ: Hosea 5:1-15 

The leaders of Judah have become like thieves. So I will pour my anger on them like a waterfall (v.10).

Because we had moved before, I didn’t consider it unusual when my dad decided to find another position and relocate us to a new city. Just 12 years old, I hated leaving the friends and life I knew, but I accepted the idea that God was calling us to something new. I didn’t know the real reason for our departure until years later. With many aware of his infidelity, our lead pastor had been engaged in a long-term adulterous affair. In good conscience, my dad, an associate pastor, could no longer remain.

We never cease to hear about fallen church leaders on this side of heaven. Ministry is a complicated place. Pastors are human—they have the same needs and struggles as their congregation. At the same time, their influence is a serious responsibility, and spiritual integrity begins at the top.

Proverbs 28:2 states, “When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.” And James wrote, “Not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1).

Prophesying to a faithless and unfaithful nation, Hosea knew the pain of betrayal firsthand—not only in his marriage but in the ‘spiritual leaders’ and all the fallen people of Judah. He saw a generation of leaders who engaged in false worship that included idolatry and apostasy. They were thinking of themselves, not God and His commands.

Changing the rules for ourselves or others brings about destruction. In a world ready to bend the truth (2 Timothy 4:3-4), the message is clear: the wider our realm of influence, the greater our responsibility to live out and speak the truth. —Regina Franklin

Read Joel 2:12-17 to see the joint responsibility shared by the people and the leadership for repentance and spiritual revival. 
How have you responded to your disappointment with a spiritual leader? How is God calling you to walk in a greater measure of responsibility and holiness as a leader?