LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM KING DAVID: HUMILITY

Max Dawson

We continue with our question: "What made King David a man after God's own heart?" Thus far in our series we have seen his integrity, faith, courage, and trust. I think last week's offering was particularly valuable. David would not avenge himself. if vengeance was to be exacted against Saul, it would be up to God. That's a valuable leadership lesson for us today!

It was Thomas Moore who said, "Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot." What made David the great leader that he was? Why did he have so many good qualities? Maybe many of those qualities sprung from his humility. David, though he had many faults, did not seem to be a man who was big in his own eyes.

When Michael, Saul's daughter, was about to be given to David in marriage, David said to Saul's servants, "Does it seem to you a light thing to be a king's son-in-law, seeing I am a poor and lightly esteemed man?" David saw his marriage to the king's daughter as a really big thing for someone of his low estate. He saw himself as "little" in the scheme of things.

By contrast, King Saul did not do so well when it came to being humble. In 1 Samuel 15:17, God's prophet said to Saul, "When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?" Saul had once been a modest young man (1 Samuel 9:21). But later, he willfully disobeyed God and even erected a monument to himself in honor of his "victory" (1 Samuel 15:10-17). Humility lost!

David's statement about being a "poor and lightly esteemed man" came after experiencing remarkable success in battle (1 Samuel 18:1-23). Saul would never speak like that.

Later in life, after even more victories, God told David that He would establish David's kingdom as an everlasting kingdom (2 Samuel 7:12-17). How did the king reply to God?

Then King David went in and sat before the LORD; and he said: "Who am I, O Lord GOD? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?" (2 Samuel 7:18).

By this time, David had experienced multiple successes in so many things, yet what credit did he take to himself? He did not see himself as worthy of greatness. The glory belonged to God, not David. In this same context, part of David's conclusion was, "You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You..." (2 Samuel 7:22). God was great. Not David.

Are you a kingdom leader? I hope so. What is your claim to greatness? What are your lists of accomplishments that put you on a pedestal? What monument can you erect to yourself?

Truth forces us to be humble. Our own faults make us to see ourselves as lowly. We are little. Glory goes to no one but our God. No monuments to self. No big claims of how great we are.

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:10). May that always be easy for us to do! It should be easy, for we are but servants of the Most High!