Today we see the stark contrast between the godly leader and the selfish, insecure leader. We are called to follow the One who leads us to glory.
In times past, even when Saul was king, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord your God said to you, “You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over my people Israel.” 1 Chronicles 11:2
His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess that Jesus to be the Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. John 9:22
Godly leaders seek to do His will, and therefore are free to act with courage and give clear direction to their followers.
Saul, the first king of Israel, failed on many levels in his leadership. He failed to encourage faithfulness to the Lord and obedience to the Law of God. Worship of God seems to have been neglected under Saul (1 Chronicles 13:3). Even while Saul was the king, it was David who gave real leadership to the nation.
Although David was loyal to him, Saul did not trust David and wasted much of his time and energy trying to assassinate him. In the end, David became king in a joyous coronation that reunited the kingdom of Israel (1 Chronicles 12:38-40).
In Jesus’ day, the Jews showed some of the same leadership weaknesses as Saul. Jesus’ power and popularity threatened them. They adamantly resisted the mounting evidence that pointed to His identity as the Messiah. These leaders used their authority to squelch discussion and intimidate the citizenry. They ruled that “if anyone should confess Jesus to be the Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.” Just as Saul demanded that everyone side with him against David, so the Jewish authorities also drew a line insisting that the people choose between them and Jesus.
Think about it
Godly leaders encourage those they lead to seek the Lord, to know His Word, and to follow Christ. A godly leader, like King David, knows that God is the real King of His people. They recognize that human leaders never exceed the position of princes. Are you free from the slavery of pleasing people or the jealousy of holding on to your position? Are you able to use whatever leadership authority you have to encourage faithfulness to God? Consider how you can facilitate godliness in those the Lord has allowed you to lead.