Friday, April 27, 2012

David's natural leadership

     One night I watched a special on Prince William and Kate Middleton in which it was said that after the Prince joined the armed forces he showed natural leadership abilities. I immediately thought of David. After he joined King Saul’s court, he demonstrated such a gift for leadership that his army was more successful in battle than Saul's forces. David became popular with the people at home, especially the women, and Saul became jealous.
I want this book to show the development of a farm boy into a king. In my previous posts, I said that I didn’t think David would have showed qualities of greatness as a young boy. I think I was wrong there. After watching the program on Prince William, I remembered that leadership was probably a talent that God would give to David and he no doubt showed it at a young age.
David had to deal with jealousy before he entered Saul’s forces. His brothers already had given him a pretty hard time while he was a boy at home. Much to everyone’s amazement, the great high priest, Samuel, anointed David under God’s command. David, the youngest, was not destined for greatness by the standards of the day. He was destined to a life of servant-hood under one of his older brothers.
So how would the youngest in the family manage after being singled out for a special blessing, administered by the high priest? How would a boy with talent, intelligence and courage fair in the eyes of his older siblings, when they already believed he would be a servant to one of them someday? The Bible describes a scene where David’s oldest brother, Eliab, chided him for attracting attention to himself when he was only supposed to deliver food to his brothers on the battlefield and return home to report to their father: 

Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of you hear, for you have come down to see the battle.
...and David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” Then he turned from him toward another ... (I Samuel 17:28 – 29 Max Lucado, The Inspirational Study Bible)
 So what did Eliab think of David just a few hours later when David volunteers to meet the dreaded giant, Goliath? Does he humble himself before David and ask forgiveness for his impertinence? I hardly think so. There are some things that have not changed over the millennia about human nature and that fact is that humbleness is very hard to attain. In spite of all this, David believes in himself and maintains his self-confidence. He is willing to serve where he sees there is a need. He has a charisma about him that attracts followers:  women as well as men. I think it is his self-confidence at a time when most Israelites were demoralized by the strength of the other nations around them. 
David proves his leadership that day when Goliath comes crashing down at his feet. He is willing to do what others were not. He is taken into King Saul’s army. I’d love to be there to see the look on Eliab’s face. Over time, David proves to be such a great leader that he eventually becomes the army commander.
All these experiences are preparing David for his future role as king of Israel. He may have had some natural leadership skills, but he received much training along the way.

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