Living With Intention in 5775: Week 12

Lately, Hashem has really been impressing upon me the desire to cultivate leadership skills for my own life, especially in my home (primarily being more of a servant). I truly believe that this is one of the goals of this year of living with intention. I would have to say that the other is building up ourselves to become the body of Messiah that can and will work in concert with each other. Our motives as disciples of Yeshua should be to rebuild the tabernacle of David, for our inheritance is the Kingdom under the rulership of the Messiah, Son of David.

On Friday, I watched a movie about the last princess of Hawaii. It was centered around her life after leaving her homeland of Hawaii for England, and her eventual return, only to find she would never become queen as was intended. In England, she was sent to a “finishing school” where one of the instructors was “not impressed” by her royal status and gave the princess the task of emptying her chamber pot everyday. She was compliant, speaking no words of defiance, but did as she was told. Her ill treatment by this woman was constant, but she did not ever retaliate in word or deed. Later in the movie, **spoiler alert** the woman who had been so disrespectful of the princess’s natural born position, came into the kitchen of the princess’s place of residence looking for work as a seamstress, because her husband had recently passed away. Her countenance was low; she had been humbled by the circumstances that had befallen her. The princess noticed that she was humiliated and removing the woman’s damp cloak offered her hot tea and a seat near the fire. She didn’t humble the woman further, but had compassion on her.

The lesson I learned from the portrayal of this princess was how to be a true leader. A true leader is humble and a servant. They know when to withhold from speaking, and when to have compassion. We see this in the life of Yosef, David, and Yeshua.

Yosef was sold as a slave into Egypt; he didn’t argue with his master, but did exactly as he was bidden. After hardships and trials, being falsely accused and thrown into prison, he was finally elevated to second in power over all of Egypt. When he was given the opportunity to render judgment on his brothers, he instead extended compassion toward them and embraced them.

David was a lowly shepherd, watching over the flocks of his father, and he was chosen over all of his brothers to become the anointed king of Israel, but he was on the run from King Saul, who wanted to kill him, for a number of years; he hid in caves and conducted renegade attacks on the enemies of Israel in order to protect his people. When he was given the opportunity to kill King Saul, he instead let him live. After Saul’s death, King David ruled the people with justice and righteousness, and the Jewish sages say that there has never been a more glorious time of Israel’s history than that of the reign of King David and his son Solomon.

Yeshua was born to a lowly family, though they were of the descendants of King David. He was a wanderer in his own land by his own admission:

“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20).

When He was falsely accused of blasphemy, he kept His mouth closed (Mark 14:61); He knew that only through His death would He be raised up and elevated to the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:32-33). He instructed His disciples that the greatest in the Kingdom is the servant of all. (Mark 9:35) When He was on the cross being mocked and spurred on by the crowds to come down from the cross and prove that He was the Son of G-d, He stayed, because He knew that without His death, there could not be eternal life.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of G-d in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21).

There is a time to endure trials–those things strengthen and forge our character–and then there are times that we are lifted up by God in order to show compassion and grace to our fellow man who is downtrodden.

This week, the focus is on discerning when to withhold from speaking in response to how we perceive we’ve been treated and when to extend compassion to people who we know have been humbled. There are many people with whom we would like to give a piece of our mind, but if we would simply think before responding, we would realize they would not hear the truth of our words. I think this is in part what Yeshua meant by casting our pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). However, there are other people with whom we can recognize that have been humbled by others or by their circumstances and showing signs of repentance; we should be all the more careful to not add to their burden.

Remember: A leader exercises discernment in how they respond to others’ actions and words directed toward them. A leader accepts trials willingly and serves others. A leader extends their hand in compassion to the humble. This is what we need to learn if we hope to have a role to play in the Kingdom of G-d.

Verses on G-d being our Defense:

To the Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.” A Michtam of David when Saul sent men, and they watched the house in order to kill him.

Deliver me from my enemies, O my G-d;
Defend me from those who rise up against me. (Psalm 59:1)

Vindicate me, O G-d, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
deliver me! (Psalm 43:1)

On Remaining silent:

Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
but a man of understanding remains silent. (Proverbs 11:12)

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. (Proverbs 17:28)

On being compassionate:

“This is what the L-RD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’” (Zechariah 7:9)

“He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the L-RD require of you
but to do justice, and to love compassion,
and to walk humbly with your G-d?” (Micah 6:8)

Shalom and a blessed week to you all!