The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10 (New International Version)
I open with that Proverb because today's little essay is about fearful things. The United States of America is entering an election season, so I thought it would be appropriate to quote some strong passages from Isaiah about leadership.
However, I am not trying to limit "leaders" to only refer to elected or appointed political leaders, those behind the scenes and "captains of industry" are also leaders, CEOs, CIOs, CFOs, and all the other jargon business schools produce, the professors, in addition to the marketing industry, lawyers, and more... the list goes on... and many people could be called leaders of, at least, themselves.
Your rulers are rebels, companions of theives;
They all love bribes and chase after gifts.
Isaiah 1:23 (NIV)
The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people.
The LORD enters into judgement against the elders and leaders of his people:
"It is you who have ruined my vineyard;
Isaiah 3:13-14 (NIV)
...the earth will wear out like a garment...
Isaiah 51:6 (NIV)
The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds.
Micah 7:13 (NIV)
"The plunder from the poor is in your houses.
"What do you mean by crushing my people
"And grinding the faces of the poor?"
Declares the LORD, the LORD Almighty.
Isaiah 3:14-15 (NIV)
Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.
Isaiah 1-:1-2 (NIV)
Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit,
and wickedness as with cart ropes.
Isaiah 5:18 (NIV)
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.
Isaiah 5:20 (NIV)
Their land is full of horses;
there is no end to their chariots.
Their land is full of idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their fingers have made.
Isaiah 2:7-8 (NIV)
This is not the end. I will come back and add a little to this essay, inserting some comments and interpretations. But for now I will assume the most obvious interpretations are understood... unless you leave a comment in the comments section.
Perhaps you don't live in the U.S., you could be sitting back and laughing, "this really beats up those 'Americans.'" Hm, you seem to be overlooking the fact this was not written about "America," it was written thousands of years ago by a Jewish guy about the leaders of his day. But I think it applies to many countries, companies, and even some families.