The Leaders We Need

During the time of the Judges, the people of Israel yearned for a king who would “go out before us and fight our battles” (I Sam. 8:20).  God gave them king Saul.  At first, things went well.  Saul rallied the nation and led them to victory.  But that didn’t last.  Saul’s cowardice would get the best of him and eventually the nation would learn that what they needed wasn’t just a king but a leader.  Saul wore a crown, but cowardice coursed through his veins, and that, in turn, influenced the entire nation.

Consider what the nation was like when the Philistines attacked Israel.  The giant, Goliath, taunted Israel and mocked God.  No Israelite dared to stand against him, not even Saul.  Instead, Saul and his army were “dismayed and greatly afraid” (I Sam. 17:11).  They hid, rather than fight.  The king tried bribes, but not a single warrior would answer the challenge.

Only David had the courage to take on the giant.  He was not a soldier.  The king saw him as just a kid (I Sam. 17:33).  David’s brothers thought he was just an insolent gawker (I Sam. 17:28).  Goliath thought he was a twig—an insult to even consider fighting against (I Sam. 17:42-43).  Beyond that, David had no armor.  Faith and courage coursed through his veins.  So he stood while others doubted and cowered.  

It turns out, David was just the type of leader the nation needed.  Just look a what the nation was like at the end of his life rather than while Saul was king.  Instead of a nation of cowards, we are given a list of thirty-seven mighty men—brave men who would stand alone and fight off the Philistines (II Sam. 23:9-12).  Three men were courageous enough to sneak into a Philistine military camp just to get David a cup of water (II Sam. 23:13-17).  Like their king, they did not fear the Philistines.  David’s influence is even more noticeable in another passage where it speaks of the four mighty children of Goliath.  These descendants were not killed by David, but by David’s servants (II Sam. 21:18-22).  

Previously, no one would face a giant.  At the end of David’s life, that had changed.  David had inspired others to greatness.

The world needs leaders like that today.  Families need leaders.  Churches need leaders.  We need people that will set the example and inspire others to courageous acts.  We need Christians who will take a stand for truth.  We need Christians who will defy the nations of the world, who will stand when others flee, who will not back down while others doubt and mock.

Will you be the example that others rally behind and are encouraged by?  You won’t accomplish this by being like everyone else.  You won’t get there by listening to the naysayers.  But if we are instead filled with faith and courage, we can really make a difference in the world, at home, and in the churches.