Rulers to Be Wise Men, God-fearers, Truthful and Haters of Unjust Gains Ex. 18:21 By Tegga Lendado
Moses was playing the role of a law-giver, teacher, judge and an administrator to his people when Jethro, his father-in-law told him what he was doing was cumbersome for him and for the people he served. He advised Moses to focus on teaching and tending his people, delegating power at all levels to wise men that feared God, spoke truth and hated unjust gains. Accordingly, leaders of high caliber and integrity were immediately elected to represent the people governing themselves. Hence, Moses, divinely chosen man facilitated the principle of self-rule, representative democracy, a rule by, for and of the people. In the case ancient Israel, both the people and their leaders had the fear of God such that it must have not been so difficult to find leaders possessing these virtues.
I appreciate and would like to respond to Prof. Tewodros Kiros’s article, The Future Leader of the New Ethiopia, published on Abugida, March 3, 2011. I approach the subject from socio-spiritual stand-point, whereas the writer seems to approach it from socio-psycho-logical and socio-political angles. Although we both see the same prism to get different colors, we may not end up using it for the same purpose. In the interest of brevity, I will not dwell on the analysis of the article, leaving that my esteemed readers.
True that a leader must have exceptional tactful, emotional and logical intelligence but never lack comprehensive qualities the writer mentioned, namely, ‘truthfulness, uprightness, balance and justice’. Virtuous leaders will certainly have all these and other qualities if they have true LOVE of God and respect for the people. Remember, Jesus summed up the Law saying, “Love God and love your neighbor as your self” (paraphrased). Reverential fear of God obliges you to love your brother, sister or humanity as a whole. Samuel Adams pointed out, “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty nor happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupts. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country, who tries most to promote its virtue, and so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into office and trust who is not wise and virtuous man”. (Wells, Life of Samuel Adams, 1:22). Adams further asserts that public officials should not be chosen if they are lacking in experience, training, proven virtue and demonstrated wisdom.
Aside from, or even in light of the political tsunami wrecking northern Africa and the Middle East, both leaders and the Ethiopian people should search their hearts with humility before God with the right attitude and state of mind. The type of LOVE I mentioned above is one that helps you to love and even forgive your enemies. Current and future leaders may want to set an example by sacrificing their ego, possession, pride, power, greed, gain and glory for the greater good of their people. That way, they will save themselves and their people. And God will bless them and their children. To me, that is patriotism par excellence! The people in return should be magnanimous, tolerant, truthful, forgiving and loving because we all sinners in need of God’s mercy. Peace, justice, reconciliation, progress, security and stability are the outcome of LOVE and respect to one another.
Rev. Tegga Lendado, PhD. is a multi-cultural church organizer, international ethics, peace and justice consultant, forestry engineer, educator, legal and medical linguist, residing in Atlanta, GA, USA. He can be reached at email@example.com.