Learning from the Past

James Prestininzi
Beaufort, South Carolina

The apostle Paul reveals to us the usefulness of the Old Testament scriptures. He declares that they "were written for our learning." (Rom. 15:4). In this article attention is called to the book of Isaiah which reveals some of the reasons God's people transgressed His law. First we see that those that were the leaders failed to lead in the way that was right.

"O my people, they that lead thee cause thee to err, and des" the way of thy paths." (Isa. 3:12).

"For they that lead this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed." (Isa. 9:16).

But this seems to indicate that the people are as guilty as the leaders. For they allow their leaders to lead them into error. Why did they not cry out and refuse to follow? It seems to be the old story of the blind following the blind.

Second I would like to use Isa. 56: 10-11 to show why the leaders failed God in their duties:

"His watchman are blind, they are without knowledge; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, the dogs are greedy, they can never have enough; and these are shepherds that cannot understand: they have turned to their own way each one to his gain from every quarter." (Isa. 56:10-11).

Notice the description given . . . "blind"  "without knowledge"  "dumb dogs" cannot bark  dreaming" "lying down" "Loving to slumber" "greedy" "cannot understand"  "turned to their own way." Is it any wonder that they failed God and caused the people to sin? They led but in the wrong say.

There is a lesson to be learned from this that applies to God's people today. A lesson for all of the saints which includes the elders. Under the New Covenant elders are the ones that rule, under Christ, the people of God.

"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them." Heb. 13:17

The word rule means: "to lead, guide, govern" (Young's Analytical). -Elders are responsible for feeding and tending the flock (Acts 20:28, 1 Pet. 5:2). They have the oversight of the congregation Q Pet. 5:2). They must not fail God as did the leaders of old.

November 18, 1971