– July 2, 2020 –
Near the end of the life of one of the great biblical leaders, King David reflected on what Godly leadership looks like. Poetic in its statement, David said,
“When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.” (2 Samuel 23: 3b-4)
David not only made this statement, but he made a concerted effort to argue that this was not his idea, but it came from God. Here is how he set up his insight:
“Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, son of Jesse, the oracle of the man whom God exalted, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favorite of the Strong One of Israel: The spirit of the Lord speaks through me, his word is upon my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me:” (2 Samuel 23:1-3a)
His justification for making the statement is longer than the statement itself! David wanted to make sure we all understood the importance of what he said and the authority behind the statement.
But what is he really saying about leadership? It starts with the light of the sun, a source rooted in God’s creation. This light representing Godly leadership suggests two things. First, a Godly leader brings light to the direction, speaking truth clearly, showing the way. The morning light and the sun speak to this. Second, the Godly leader nurtures growth in others. Not only does he or she bring warmth to the soil, which enables growth, but that work is rewarded by the fulfillment of that growth, “like grass sprouting from the earth.”
Godly leadership is not about the leader, but about what that leadership means in the lives of others. We all have a leadership role, whether formal or informal. This challenging lesson from David reminds us of what Jesus said about leadership:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)
Let’s lead as Jesus and David call us to lead.
Al Erisman, KIROS Board