Read Judges 12:8-14
8 After him, Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 9 He had thirty sons, thirty daughters he gave in marriage outside his clan, and thirty daughters he brought in from outside for his sons. And he judged Israel for seven years. 10 Then, Ibzan died and was buried at Bethlehem.
11 After him, Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel, and he judged Israel for ten years.12 Then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried at Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.
13 After him, Abdon, the son of Hillel the Pirathonite, judged Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys, and he judged Israel for eight years. 15 Then Abdon, the son of Hillel the Pirathonite, died and was buried at Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.
As we go further down the list of judges, we will see how far the judges have fared compared to the ideals of what a judge should be. Finally, in Judges 12, they record the last of the few judges.
First on the list was Ibzan, who gave his sons and daughters in marriage to other clans. He uses his position to create power through marriage alliances. Then came Elon, whose scripture did not mention his achievements and work. Then Abdon, whose forty sons, and thirty grandsons show how he lived lavishly like a king, with a harem.
What is interesting to note is that in all these three judges, there was no mention of them saving Israel. On the contrary, the condition of Israel continues to worsen during their time.
Some key points:
- The heart of leadership is service and not gaining power.
- We must lead with biblical guidelines and integrity, dying to our selfish ambition to lead like Christ.
- Power tends to corrupt. Guarding our hearts when we are given leadership positions is critical for leadership.
Talk it over:
- Are you in any leadership position? If yes, tell us a time when your leadership was tested with entitlements.
- What are some things you need to personally guard in your life to avoid falling into the same leadership trap this judge fell for?
- Pray that God would guard your heart and motivation for leadership.