Read: 2 Samuel 5:1-25
Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. 2 Samuel 5:12
It’s been a long, hard road but finally David becomes King. We see in the beginning of the text that all of the leaders of the tribes come to anoint David as King over Israel. It seems as if, in their hearts and minds, David has been their King for a long time. In the first few verses of chapter 5 they tell David in essence, “Yes, Saul was crowned king – but you, David, were the one we trusted – you were our leader.”
Saul, as the king, should have been the one the people looked to for protection, for help, for leadership. But that’s not how it went down. As it turned out, Saul had the position of authority over Israel, but David had the power of authority. How did that happen? I think the Israelites were drawn to David because he wasn’t in it for himself. He led for the “sake of his people Israel.” He continually put his life on the line, leading Israel’s military campaigns and showing he was a leader worthy of their trust. He cared for his people.
When the tribal elders came to David in the beginning of the chapter, they remind him that the Lord said of him, “You will shepherd my people Israel…”. David wasn’t just going to rule over them, he was going to shepherd them – and what does a shepherd do but care for his sheep, protect them, love them, put his own life in danger to care for them. That’s the kind of leader David had proven himself to be.
That’s something to reflect on in our own lives. We ALL lead someone. Maybe it’s a team at work, maybe it’s a classroom, maybe it’s our own kids. How did we/do we earn their trust? We hone our shepherd’s skills and radically care for our people.
And just as important to David’s leadership was the fact that he was under authority himself. Time and again we see David relying on and glorifying God. David didn’t go into battle in his own power – he sought God’s will and he gave God all the honor and praise as the One who had victory over the enemy. It wasn’t about David, it was about God and it was about His people.
Again, we need to reflect on this in our own lives and see what we’re relying on. David could have easily used his own wisdom/experience/skills as a soldier to make decisions. After all, he was a professional, not to mention, a King! But he knew better than to rely on himself, so he constantly communicated with the Lord and sought His wisdom and strength before making decisions.
How are you doing in that area? As a professional Mom, this is an area I know I need to work on!
As you go through your day, think about the people you lead and ask yourself, how are my shepherding skills (am I radically caring for people), and who am I relying on?
Father, please help me to lead with integrity. Help me to care for people well and help me to seek your wisdom in everything. May you be glorified in my life! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.