LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM KING DAVID: TRUST

Max Dawson

As we consider the qualities that made King David a man after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), one of the things that comes to my mind is his trust. Last week I wrote about David's faith and courage as he faced the Philistine giant, Goliath.

At first thought you might think faith and trust are the same thing. And sometimes they are. But let me explain what I mean.

Even though David had been anointed as the next king of Israel, Saul still reigned for a considerable period of time. Saul was extremely angry and jealous of David because of the attention given to him (1 Samuel 18:6-9). Saul's intention was to kill David; evidence of that is seen in the next eight or ten chapters of 1 Samuel!

In those chapters, David not only escapes from Saul, but he also has several opportunities to take Saul's life! Yet David would not raise his hand against him. Even men of his own army told him he would be justified in taking Saul's life (1 Samuel 24:4). At this particular time, Saul was in a cave relieving himself. He was away from his forces and was at his most vulnerable. It would have been an easy matter for David to kill him. But he would not.

On another occasion, David came upon Saul's camp by night. Again, it would have been an easy thing to kill him, (1 Samuel 26:7-8). One of David's men, Abishai, said, "Let me strike him with the spear..." But David refused Abishai's request! He would not kill Saul!

What does all of this have to do with trust? In 1 Samuel 24:12, David called out to Saul, "Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you."

If vengeance was to be taken, it would be the Lord who would exact that vengeance, not David.

It was not in his hands to strike down the king of Israel. As you read through this lengthy section where David restrains himself, you will find these words: "I will not stretch out my hand against the Lord's anointed." I am not sure how many times David made that kind of remark, but I am sure that David did not intend to take vengeance on Saul!

It would be up to God to remove Saul, not up to David. David would trust God to avenge him. Please read 1 Samuel 26:9-11 to see David's dramatic words about how he would not touch God's anointed. David would trust God! Vengeance belonged to God!

This whole episode reminds us of Romans 12:19. "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord."

Some things in life belong to God and not to you or me. Seeking vengeance is one of those things. Have you been wronged, hurt, or abused by others? David was. But he left it up to God to take care of it. He trusted that God would take care of it in His time, in His way.

Wise leaders know to do like David. It's one of those things that made David a man after God's own heart. You can be a man after God's own heart by doing as David did. Be wise!