Searching for a Godly Leader
Dialing back to 1 Samuel 15, one reads the reason there is a search on for a new leader of Israel. Once again, Saul has disobeyed the Lord’s commands. Once again, Samuel has had to listen to Saul’s excuses, but this time is different. Can you hear the heartbreak of God when He says to Samuel, “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from Me and has not carried out my instructions”?
Samuel was angry and cried out to God throughout the night. The next day, Samuel told Saul, “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king!” (1 Sam. 15:23). The anger has subsided from Samuel’s emotion and has been replaced by sorrow.
In today’s text, we find the prophet Samuel searching for a new godly leader for Israel. He has been directed by God to the house of Jesse, outside the village of Bethlehem of Judea.
Godly Leadership Comes from Within the Heart
The worldview of leadership is physical attractiveness and charisma, but that is not God’s view. He looks on the inside and roots out the goodness, honesty and integrity needed.
David lived a clean, holy, simple, sincere life in the hill country.
Jan Karon in Patches of Godlight quotes from Forward Day by Day, “Help me this day to live a simple, sincere and serene life, repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity and the habit of holy silence; exercising economy in expenditure, generosity in giving, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity, to every trust and a childlike faith in God.” That was David! Leadership calls for confidence in self and faith in God.
Godly Leadership Comes with Potentialiality
What does potential mean? The Free Dictionary defines potential as the “inherent ability or capacity for growth, development or future success…an investment.”
David had all the qualities inside ready to explode into his world, but time would bring all the potential into sync. As he grew physically, he also grew emotionally and experientially. His potential would be culminating through the years.
The Germans had two powerful weapons in World War II that never repaid their investment. The Tirpitz, one of the most powerful battleships of her time, fired her eight 15-inch guns only once at Spitsberger, Norway. The second weapon was Gustav, the largest gun ever manufactured at the time. It had to be shipped in sections on railroad cars and assembled onsite. It spanned two sets of standard gauge tracks with 80 wheels supporting it. The Germans used it only once at the siege of Sevastopol, Russia.
God gave David gifts, abilities and talents to be used not once, but for a lifetime! He does the same for us!
Godly Leadership Comes with the Spirit
David, the same as us, needed God’s Spirit to make leadership successful. He surrendered everything to God and became one of the greatest leaders of all time.
C.S. Lewis wrote about his own experience, “But suddenly what had been an ideal had become a demand—total surrender to God, the absolute leap in the dark, the demand was not ‘all or nothing,’ that stage had been passed. Now the demand was simply ‘all.’”
If we are to become God’s leaders, we must give our all to God. When we do, His Spirit will give us His help and support!
A paraphrase of Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things as God’s leader through Christ who strengthens me.”