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Why Leaders Lose Courage

September 21, 2018

When Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, heard that Abner had died at Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. 2 Samuel 4:1

Abner had made Ish-bosheth king, and without Abner, Ish-bosheth knew that he could not remain in power for long. So when he heard the news that Abner had died, his courage failed. Notice what happens when a leader’s courage fails: “all Israel was dismayed” (4:1).

The first calling of a leader is to exercise faith in God. Times of crisis will come to your family, your friends, your business, your ministry—and when they do, the people who look to you for leadership need to know that you are trusting in God. If they can see that you are looking to the Lord, they will be lifted. But if your courage fails, they will be dismayed.

Why did Ish-bosheth’s courage fail? Because he had put his trust in Abner. Abner had made him king, and Ish-bosheth had always relied on Abner. Ish-bosheth made an idol of Abner, and when his idol fell, Ish-bosheth’s courage failed him, and all Israel was dismayed.

God will give you friends, colleagues, and loved ones to whom you look for wisdom, counsel, help, and comfort. These people are gifts of God to you. But don’t make an idol of God’s gift. Rejoice in the gifts, and trust the Giver!

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes” (Ps. 118:8-9).

Is there a person in your life of whom you might be tempted to say, “I could not survive without him or her”?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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