Getting Rich vs. Growing Rich in Investments

Reliable wealth grows like an oak tree…slowly.

King Solomon once noted that there is really nothing new under the sun. Others have opined that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Acquiring wealth is no exception.

Getting Rich Quickly?

People have been trying to “get rich quick” since the dawn of time, and the vast majority have been wiped out, physically or financially, as a result. In antiquity, defeating your enemies in battle and plundering them was a great path to violent death for most, but great riches for a few.

In later times, the Dutch economy foundered under the frenzy known as Tulipmania (1636-7), British investors went broke in the aftermath of the South Sea Bubble (1719-1721), and the French lost heavily investing in the Mississippi Company (1719).

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Jesus, an Example of Mentoring Leadership

How did Jesus mentor His disciples? How did He mentor others? How should we mentor those who look to us for leadership?

One of the greatest strengths of mentoring leaders is the ability to teach.  To reproduce himself, a man must teach, by words and by actions, those who are learning from him.  Jesus taught large groups and the people marveled at the wisdom and authority of His words.  He was doing His most important work, however, when He was teaching small groups of His disciples and other followers (Luke 24:32).

Mentoring leaders also use gifts of exhortation to mentor those entrusted to them.  Exhortation includes encouragement and instruction to do the right and wise thing.  After Peter’s proclamation of faith in Matthew 16:16, Jesus encouraged him.  After Peter denied Jesus in Matthew 26:69-75, Jesus encouraged him again (John 21:15-17).  Many times in the gospels Jesus exhorted His disciples.  Such gifts as exhortation and teaching are evidence of excellent communication, in this case sharing leadership principles and examples to the next generation of leaders.

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Hezekiah – an Example of Crisis Leadership

Hezekiah had the same foibles and failings as the rest of us, and that is why his example is worth studying. 

After the golden age of Israel, during the reigns of David and his son Solomon, Israel split apart.  The tribes of Judah and Benjamin kept Rehoboam, grandson of David as their king, but the northern ten tribes chose Jeroboam, an Ephraimite.  The subsequent history of Israel is a sad tale of uniformly evil rulers, people unfaithful to the Lord, and near extermination by the Assyrians two hundred years later (721 BC).  The history of Judah is little better, with a few good kings, including Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Uzziah and Jotham interspersed with many evil ones.  Judah lasted 135 years longer than Israel but became progressively more wicked and was finally overwhelmed by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC.

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David, an Example of Growth and Development in Leadership

David, man after God’s own heart, was God’s chosen man at a crucial time in Israel’s history. We can learn from him. 

Of all the leaders in ancient Israel, the greatest are Moses, whom we have already discussed, and David, who is the subject of this article.  David’s father was Jesse, the son of Obed and descendant of Boaz, a wealthy landowner.  His ancestral lineage was through the line of Judah, a ruler among his people.  David was Jesse’s youngest son, a shepherd boy, without the obvious potential of his older brothers.  Nonetheless, David had a heart after God, and that enabled him to become the greatest king of Israel.

Israel had been ruled by judges for hundreds of years since conquering the Promised Land.  Eventually, the people grew tired of local government and wanted a king to rule over them.  Their choice was Saul, a man of the central tribe of Benjamin who was remarkable primarily for his good looks and his height (1 Samuel 9:2).  The story of his rise to power in 1st Samuel is somewhat bizarre, but God gave him every chance to succeed.  Unfortunately he had major flaws as a king and the Lord rejected him (1 Samuel 15:22-28).  God sent Samuel to anoint a new king of His own choosing, sent him to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse, and here David, the unlikely leader, entered the stage.

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Moses, an Example of Administrative Leadership and People Management

Moses, the man of God, freed the slaves and built a nation. He has much to teach. 

Moses is the single most famous leader in the Old Testament and is respected by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.   He was born a Hebrew slave, adopted by an Egyptian princess, raised as a prince of Egypt, exiled at age 40 after killing an Egyptian who beat a Hebrew slave.  Fleeing to the tribe of Midian in the Sinai desert, Moses married, started a family, and became a shepherd, an occupation loathsome to the Egyptians, especially a prince.  He was as low as a former prince of Egypt could go.

At age 80, when Moses probably felt that his life was nearly over, God met Moses on the slope of Mt. Sinai.  God told Moses to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites, God’s chosen people, out of slavery to the Egyptians.  The rest of Moses life was a tremendous example of faithfulness to the commands of God and skill in building a nation as he led His people into their Promised Land.

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Leadership Examples of Abraham, Jacob and Joseph

The Patriarchs of Israel believed God when others did not. Christians today can follow many of their examples. 

Abraham

In many ways, Abraham was an entrepreneurial leader. Born in Ur in southeast Mesopotamia in the second millennium BC, Abraham had a wide variety of skills and a strong work ethic. He could have been very successful in Ur. God, however, had other plans. Terah, Abram’s father, took his entire family, including Abram and his wife, hundreds of miles northwest to Haran in upper Mesopotamia (Genesis 11:31). After Terah’s death, God called the 75 year old Abram to take his entire household, scores of people and many possessions, to Canaan, 700 miles to the southwest. Genesis 12-24 recounts the rest of Abraham’s life, and in these chapters we see a wealthy rancher, a diplomat, a military leader, and a faithful servant of God.

Strengths

Jehovah’s plan was to bring a great people out of Abraham that would bless the whole world. He intended to put these people in Canaan, the most fruitful part of the great land bridge between Europe, Asia, and Africa, and build them into a “kingdom of priests” to shine God’s light to all of His creation.

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