As the third group of fifty men approached Elijah’s house, the captain was shaking in his boots. He had read the reports how the first two groups of fifty had been consumed by some strange fire from the sky at the prophets bidding. He was in a bad place. He knew disobedience to the king’s order would be treason and punished by death. He also knew, if Elijah spoke the words, he could be burned to death in an instant. The captain had an idea.
The first two units had come in the name of the king with force, demanding the prophet’s obedience. The third captain decided to take a more humble and diplomatic approach. With their lives in the balance, he slowly approached Elijah’s house, took a knee, and humbly asked him to spare their lives and to come and meet with the king. Guess what? Elijah granted both requests.
You think you have the upper hand.
You think you’re more powerful.
You think you know how someone will react.
Leading with force reduces the number of possible good outcomes.
Leading with humility limits the casualties.
And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight.2 Kings 1:13 KJV