One has to extrapolate the meaning of leader-follower consequences to include all functional mentors that guide and develop individuals, young or old into leading a successful life in serving the Lord and humanity. They are such as classroom and Sunday School teachers, biological parents, foster or surrogate parents, evangelists, preachers counsellors, youth leaders and many more. In other words, biological and sociological parents or mentors do expectedly guide and help their wards and the mentored or followers to develop respectable personalities whatever the field of their endeavor in life. The control that they exercise on their followers is usually not the negative type. The end of the nurturing may be glorious or inglorious depending on the level of behavior-pattern that evolved in the individual that was mentored in view of individual’s cognitive resonance or dissonance.
This post covers the situation of master-servant relationship in terms of learning under a master with the ultimate aim of coming to take the place of the erstwhile master who had been served diligently and devotedly devoid of personal ‘hidden agenda’. Abraham remains the proximal and distal father of the Jews as established in God’s covenant with him. He was also an uncle to Lot, indeed a great father-figure from whom Lot could have learnt obedience, humility as well as worship of YAHWEH, the God of Israel. It turned out to be that Lot did not make Abraham a looking-glass self thus did not emulate his mentor, Genesis 13: 1-118. It was obvious that there was a good comparison between the two duos of Abraham-Lot and Mordecai-Esther in terms of humility, obedience, commitment and total yielding to the training and development in the master-servant model in this post. In Genesis 13, we saw how Lot severed relationship from Abraham only to end up as an unparalleled sinner ( committed sodomy); whereas, Esther became Queen to King Ahasuerus instead of Vashti in Shushan the palace. Esther 2: 1-18 and saved the Jews as well from the plan of getting rid of them as conceived by Haman.
In the life of Moses and Joshua, Deuteronomy 31: 3-8, they were a perfect blend of master and devoted servant or better call it apprentice. Before Moses was no more, Joshua was sufficiently fitted into the great task of leading the children of Israel throughout the war of possessing their (Canaan Land) possession in fulfillment of God’s promise to descendants of Abraham. Out of all the spies that went on reconnaissance mission only Joshua and Caleb returned to give an encouraging report. No wonder they were both appreciated. Caleb claimed his own portion of land after about 40 years as reward for their loyalty while Joshua emerged as the great leader. In his watch, he adopted the Law of Victory. Joshua 6: 1-20. Under this dispensation, Achan failed to imbibe the lesson Joshua’s Leadership stood for. Achan breached the Law of victory by stealing some of the valuable items the soldiers were supposed to have destroyed. He suffered total destruction in consequence? Joshua 7: 1-25.
David was highly devoted to God and was constantly enjoying divine grace and protection but his son Absalom chose a life of vengeance against his enemy. He also revolted against his father’s rulership. He subsequently perished. 2 Samuel 15: 1-17. He obviously rejected his father’s control or leadership and surely did not end well. The relationship between David and Solomon showed a child that was in compliance with a great and mighty father or if under a similar boss is more likely to benefit therefrom. I therefore posit that a child that learns from his accomplished parents and never rebels against them, tends to have the good life. But if after their death there occurred
a shift in paradigm from being the image of his good parents or erstwhile boss then any negative consequence would not be blamed on the mentor. King Solomon as a preferred son received his father’s approval to ascend the throne after him. He also humbly asked for wisdom needed to make him God-fearing King and be able to judge his subjects equitably. His request so pleased the Lord that God added prosperity beyond measure, not comparable to any being of his time. His holding YAHWEH in the high esteem gradually waned and he began to marry foreign women and allowed them to bring their gods into the house of worship of the God of Israel, God became disinterested in him. King Rehoboam did neither learn to put God first nor be compatible to elderly advice. As he walked not in the wisdom of God, he lost the ten Northern kingdoms of Israel to Jeroboam 1King 11: 29-40. Prophet Elijah and Elisha epitomized father’s or master’s leadership that the ‘son’ accepted and adhered to tenaciously. Elisha served Elijah so well that it was not difficult for him to request double portion of Elijah’s power when he was about to be taken up in a chariot. He did build himself up not to take no for an answer, even in spite of pupil prophets’ mocking him regarding his master’s departure. He undauntedly followed the master and was richly rewarded. Conversely, Elisha’s servant avariciously demanded and took gratification from Naaman, (head of Syrian army) and bagged leprosy that struck him with immediate effect. Timothy was lucky to have been brought up in the way of the Lord by both his mother – Eunice and grandmother- Lois, ITimothy 1: 2; 2 Timothy 2: 1, such that Apostle Paul proudly adopted him as son in-the-Lord and was able to pull through in the ministry. Hymenaeus and Philetus rejected Apostle Paul’s pure doctrinal mentoring by engaging in profane and vain babbling, for they increased in their ungodliness. IITimothy 2: 17. So also was the case of Alexander the coppersmith in II Timothy 4: 14-15.
The consequences on all of them and in contemporary times can only be better imagined than experienced as followers of Christ.