Developing Kingdom Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

When It Doesn’t Seem Fair

It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. … The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Acts 12:1-3; 6-7 NIV

King Herod was out to quell an uprising among the Jews. This new ‘sect’ called the Way was causing all sorts of difficulties for him. So, he began to persecute the leaders of the Nazarene sect in the hopes to putting an end to this. He arrested James, brother of John, one of the three executive leaders and had him beheaded. Seeing a positive response to this draconian action, he moved on to arrest Peter – the second of the three leaders.

Peter was imprisoned and awaiting his trial before Herod with the foregone sentencing of death for leading an insurrection. His fate would be the same as his leadership teammate, James. But God had different plans! The night before the trial (interesting timing isn’t it?), God sent an angel to Peter’s prison cell. The chains the bound him came off Peter’s wrists and he was led by the angel outside of the prison. He was miraculously set free from the prison, the pending trial, and escaped the certain death sentence.

Now put yourself in John’s shoes. John had seen his brother, James arrested and beheaded. Yet now his teammate was delivered by God from the same fate. Why had God allowed James to die and set Peter free? It seems so unfair! Was God ‘playing favorites?’ Did He love Peter more than James? It would be so easy for John to become embittered towards God.

When God’s actions don’t make sense; when we are tempted to question His ‘fairness’ or His love; it’s time to remember that He is God and we are not! Take a chill pill! Who are we to question God’s wisdom, justice, sovereignty? Who are we to think we are wiser than God? It sounds a lot like Job!

I am not suggesting a type of Christian fatalism in our attitudes. But I am calling into question any leadership thinking that puts our thoughts above God’s. He is the potter and we are the clay. He has the right to make out of His clay anything He desires. He can choose His timing that best fits His purposes. We humbly fall before Him and agree with Him when He says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

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