Thought Leaders Series: 2018
Seldom do we see leaders stepping up at a time of adversity as we see with the Elders at a time that can be best described as their worst crisis.
Amidst the destruction of the Temple (the place they met with Yahweh), destruction of their institutions; power vacuum leading to political and social instability; the Elders were able to come up with ideas that will not only sustain them through Exile, but also preserve them as a nation.
On reflection on their trajectory, and with exposure to ideas in Babylon they came up with the philosophy of monotheism, and the idea that God does not need a visual representation (idols), but, is in fact a spirit. And that he works through them as co-creators or stewards in the continuation of his purpose on earth.
Interestingly we also see the early developments of other ideas that will later form the basis of Christian doctrine. These include: the idea of a contrary force (Satan or the devil), although we are not privy to the source of this entity or being; the concept of resurrection of the dead and judgement in the afterlife; a messiah (one that will lead the people of Israel against their enemies); and in the absence of The Temple, fasting and prayers as means of atonement and connecting to Yahweh, and as a means of resisting Satan.
These Elders were wise. They saw that the tides were shifting, and that what was held as ‘truth’ in time past were no longer so. Rather than forcing these old ideas on the masses, they reimagined, reengineered, re-envisioned, and reinvented their faith not only to address present challenges, but also future challenges. In simple terms, instead of going backwards, they chose the more difficult option of moving forward.
In the words of Nehru:
Crises and deadlocks when they occur have at least this advantage, that they force us to think.” – Jawaharlal Nehru (first Prime Minister of India)
Consequently the present crisis we face in our world should force us to think. These challenges can act as a catalyst to move us, but there are only two polar opposite directions: forward or backward.
The choice for us as leaders is binary.
Reachout | Revive | Recover