Power and Character
The dangerous men of the Bible:
By Bill Burkett
The demagogues of the Bible were dangerous because they had power but no character. Saul was king but he had murder in his heart. He attempted to kill David with a javelin. David had to flee as an outcast and then hunted like an animal because the man that hated and hunted him had power but no character. Herod of the New Testament had all of the male babies slain because he had the power to make that decree but he did not have character. Give a man a little power and you soon find out his true character! Diotrephes (3 John 1:9) and Alexander the coppersmith (1 Timothy 1:20; 4:14) had a little power with some influence over the people around them. But with the power they had, they had no character to rightly govern it. What made the dangerous men of the Bible is the same thing that makes the dangerous men of the world: Through the ages ruthless men have left their names of infamy written on the pages of human history with the blood of their victims. Wherever you have power without character you have a ruthless demagogue. The killing fields of Cambodia, attempts to commit genocide in Africa and Yugoslavia are left in the wake of men with authority or some kind of power but with no character who commit atrocities against millions. By the power of number, money or politics they slaughter any who oppose them. History is full of names like Hitler, Stalin and Atilla the Hun and Hussein, men who had power but not the character to go with it. Abuse of power is a spirit that soon corrupts any person who assumes authority. Power without character is in the corporate world, in the school systems, city governments, state governments and in every level of the social structure! A man or a women with power who use it to hurt and destroy who they choose. This is why the gospel is so vital to the preservation of any nation. Christ instills a character of the highest kind in men. Just the golden rule (which is slowly being lost in the churches of America) itself is a great character principle. America is a powerful nation – but it is losing its character. We have a generation merging that the majority was raised in the public school system that taught the new morality. But this one fact remains; that God is very much in control and if you’ve read the last chapter you know that character and not power survives the holocaust of the final judgment.