Leadership Lessons from King David part 1








No doubt, David is one of the greatest leaders of God’s people...

in the Old Testament era. Despite his human frailty, he was used as a model for all other kings to follow. The New Testament writers hold him up as someone worth imitating (see quote from one of Paul’s sermons below).


Acts 13:22, 36. After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.' … "For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. NIV


Let’s glean a few lessons from the life of David for our lives as leaders today …


  1. Understand that Life is a Journey As you look at an overview of David’s life, you can see that it was a journey through various seasons and phases. Some were incredible joyful and victorious, while others were very dark and discouraging. Brief timeline: • 17 years old – anointed and prophesied over (great future). David’s destiny was revealed at a young age when he was anointed by the prophet Samuel in front of his brothers. This was the sovereign choosing of God based on David’s heart condition. • Defeat of Goliath, service in Saul’s court, then a fugitive (13 yrs) • 30 years old – anointed king in Hebron over Judah (7.5 yrs) • 37.5 years old – anointed king in Jerusalem over Israel (33 yrs) • 70 years old – died (40 yrs as king) At no time did David have the full picture, other than a few glimpses along the way. His life had to be a walk of faith, trusting in God each step of the way, sometimes in very contradictory circumstances. Yet through it all God was at work in and through David’s life.




In the cave of Adullam, David was unsure of how God was going to work things out....


but he was committed to find out. During this time, David is a pursued man living in caves and strongholds in the wilderness. Though called and anointed by God, he is running from his life from the jealousy and animosity of the current leadership over Israel. He has a word from God but all the current circumstances are contrary to it. He must trust in God and believe that his times are in God’s hand. 1 Sam 22:3. From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, "Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?" NIV A few insights from this lesson: • God raises up a leader progressively over time, gradually increasing their influence. He makes the person along the way, building character and perseverance. Over time his circle of influence spreads, as does his favour. • It took many years for God’s will to come to pass. David was attacked and tried in various ways. At times it didn’t seem like God’s word would come to pass. • David’s promotion to prominence was gradual. First he fought in the army under Saul, then he was made king over Judah, then Israel and eventually he had international influence. David was patient along the way and allowed God to promote him. • If we are faithful in little things, we will be entrusted with greater responsibilities. David proved faithful in caring for his father's sheep before being called to shepherd God's flock (1 Sam 16:11; 17:34-35; Ps 78:70-72). • Spiritual growth takes time. David was anointed as king by Samuel when he was about 17 years old (1 Sam 16:12-13). He would not actually rule over all Israel, however, until many years later (5:4-5). A toadstool can spring up overnight, but mighty trees don't grow quite that fast. • David began and ended his ministry by acknowledging the absolute sovereignty of God in the lives of his people (1 Sam 17:46-47; 1 Chron 29:10-15). David recognised God’s hand and call on his life. He gave God credit for his leadership influence. He realised that his destiny was for the nation, not for his own ego. What about you? Is it a high season or a low one? Are you in a fulfilment phase or a frustration one? In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus talks about being ‘yoked’ to him. Are you running ahead, lagging behind, or keeping ‘in step’ with him in your journey?




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