Lessons from a Good King
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Greetings brothers and sisters,
I pray that you and your families are well and safe. Stay true to the Lord and God’s Word. Do not take the bait of the current political environment.
We will continue our look today to the kings of Israel for some lessons on leadership. Again, I feel the need to explain my reasoning here. This message today, and the others on this topic were inspired by the Holy Spirit. I am not making political points. Here me please: Sure, I have a political viewpoint. But my overall objective for all of us, Democrat or Republican, conservative, liberal, or those in the middle, is simply this: we have a leadership gap. We no longer have statesmen. We have characters, images of individuals carefully crafted by media and communications experts, who gain access to political or bureaucratic positions of authority.
We have allowed this to happen, because we choose these people for the most part. In the case of bureaucrats we choose the people who hire or appoint them. So it really is our fault. Sadly, I do not see that many quality leaders in today’s world. We picked these people. We need to learn to pick better people, to look for some qualities that are positive. Let's see if we can find a few.
Today we are going to look at King David. Now, no doubt, King David made some mistakes in his life, I grant you that. He made a few poor decisions. But we’re not looking for a perfect leader. We’re looking for a good leader.
Last week we looked at Saul, a good example of what not to do as a leader. Today, as we look to David, undeniably a man after God’s own heart, we will look at not a perfect leader, but a leader who does display all the desired characteristics that you would want in a leader today. How does a leader respond to failure? We all make mistakes. David knew how to bounce back. He knew how to repent, confess, and seek forgiveness.
The life and rule of David has an added distinction, it was foretold in scripture that the Messiah would come from his family as one of his descendants. This prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus. As a ruler, David made good decisions, the best being, that he continually sought after God. Psalm 31:14-16,
“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God’. My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me from your unfailing love.”
This is the first and obvious characteristic that we need in a leader in times like these. We need a leader with faith. When I say faith, I mean faith in the God most High, and His Son Jesus.
We need leaders who believe in God, trust in God’s promises, and then also, leaders who pray to God. Not like so many of the leaders today who are afraid or ashamed to mention God. There are those who even despise God and those of us who call ourselves Christians.
When we have a leader who is doing the above, we have a Spirit led leader. That’s what I want to see more of today. Leader’s led by God’s Holy Spirit. If they are Spirit led we will know this: God is leading the way. I don’t feel that we are being led by God at all today in the United States.
David was anointed as Israel’s king when he was a boy, probably in his early teens. Yet it was 30 years before he became the king of Judah and 37 years before being named king of all Israel. He had to wait decades, being chased by King Saul who wanted him dead.
This is the second necessary characteristic of a godly leader, patience. Psalm 27 finishes with these two verses, 13-14,
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
So much of what we desire individually and as a culture and a society are things we want right now. We have forgotten the benefits of delayed gratification. We need to realize that God teaches us constantly as we journey through life. We grow spiritually, as we go through life following Jesus. I want a leader who is growing spiritually. We need a leader who can be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord.
God led David through many trials. Leaders today will face criticism and ridicule. Godly leaders today have to be able to shake off this criticism and stay committed to God’s direction, to where the Spirit is leading them. A humble leader is not concerned about criticism and name calling, they are concerned about this: Are they doing what God told them to do?
The third characteristic of godly leadership is humility. Too many of our leaders today are self-consumed, narcissistic and overconfident to the point of being out of touch with reality.
We need a leader grounded in humility, able to empathize with other humans, and not detached from making decisions that hurt people seemingly on purpose. A leader not too proud to ask God for guidance in big situations. Psalm 25:4-5,
“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
To do this, in a world filled with mockers and deniers of Christ requires courage, our fourth characteristic of a godly leader.
Most of our leaders today lack political courage and therefore lack real courage to face the challenges that we face today. We need to see a leader who is not afraid to stand up to our dishonest and corrupt leaders who are currently leading us. Psalm 27:1,
“The Lord is my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?”
The final characteristic today is one which has been missing from our leaders for years for years, grace. This may seem like a strange quality for a leader in today’s world. Maybe so, but not for a Christian leader in today’s world.
I believe each one of us would love to see a leader that handled their daily schedule with some grace. This constant bickering, blaming and faultfinding followed by denials and excuses is getting old.
I am looking for a leader that seeks grace and then extends grace to others. I see that the political technique of the present is to manipulate different groups of people and pit them against each other. Vaccinated versus unvaccinated, masked versus unmasked, employed versus unemployed, everyone else versus Christians, and then the old standbys, liberal versus conservative, Republicans versus Democrats, North versus South, East versus West, dog versus cat.
No longer do we extend grace to one another. This is because we, as a culture, as a society, no longer do we admit our mistakes or our failures. Which ever party is in power pushes to the extreme. There is no longer any mediation or compromise. We try to crush one another like a grape. We need to show some grace.
To extend grace to others we must understand what it is to receive grace from the Lord. To understand how to receive grace from the Lord we must first understand what it is to seek grace from the Lord. To seek grace from the Lord we must first be able to realize and admit that we have sinned.
We are sinful people. We are led by sinful people. We all make mistakes and we all are sinful. We all need the Lord. We need a leader who is not afraid to say this.
We also need a leader who is the first in line to seek forgiveness from the Lord. David after he took a census of Israel’s fighting men said this in 2 Samuel 24:10,
“I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”
I would like to see us have a leader who is not afraid to confess their sins, seek forgiveness and repent. Because this country needs a leader to lead us, as a nation, in confession, seeking forgiveness, and repentance. We need a leader who can lead us gracefully, not in a mean spirited, vengeful manner. Please join me in praying for God to raise up godly leaders.
Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.
and Harmony UMC