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LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP, PART 5: Tola, the son of Puah, and Elon, the Zebulonite

by | Nov 21, 2015 | Leadership, Lessons in Leadership (A Mini-Series)

This is the 5th in a short series focusing what Israel’s earliest leaders, the judges, have to teach us. Today’s leadership lesson comes from two little-known judges of Israel, Tola the son of Puah and Elon the Zebulonite . . .

“After the time of Abimelech a man of Issachar, Tola son of Puah, the son of Dodo, rose to save Israel. He lived in Shamir, in the hill country of Ephraim. He led Israel twenty-three years; then he died, and was buried in Shamir.” (Jdg 10:1-2) and “After him (Ibzan), Elon the Zebulunite led Israel ten years. Then Elon died, and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.” (Jdg 12:11-12) NIV

Tola and Elon. The former, the son of Puah and the grandson of Dodo, the later a Zebulonite. One lived in Shamir, in the hill country of Ephraim, the other was buried in Aijalon, in the land of Zebulun. One judged Israel for 23 years, the other for 10, and then they both died. And we don’t know a single other thing about their lives! We don’t know what, if anything, spectacular they did; we don’t know if they saved Israel from any great enemy; we don’t even know if they had any children! But despite this, they still earned their place in the World’s greatest book.


Because God wants us to understand that we don’t have to DO anything spectacular or out of the ordinary to do His will! We don’t have to be from a lineage of great pastors or teachers; we don’t have to win any huge spiritual battles; we don’t have to be world famous evangelists; in fact, we don’t have to be ANYONE special AT ALL! All we have to BE is WILLING and OBEDIENT to God.

God’s task for each one of us may not be as grandiose as killing Philistines with an oxgoad (Judges 3:31) or using 300 men to combat an entire nation (Judges 7). Sometimes God just wants us to be there to do the menial tasks that need to be done. He wants us to be at His beck and call wherever and whenever He needs us.

So in essence, though they did nothing as spectacular as Jephthah or Deborah or Gideon, Elon and Tola were just as great, because the menial things they DID do, they did to the glory of God. And in so doing, they earned themselves a place in history.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col 3:17)

Lord, help me to be like Tola and Elon!

Please see next Tuesday’s edition of The Nugget for the next lesson in leadership, brought to us by Shamgar son of Anath . . .

In His love,


Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets ( ), Answers2Prayer Ministries,

(To access the entire “Lessons in Leadership” mini-series, please click here.)


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