A leader like David

David had leadership skills. I am going to use some references from the book of 1 Samuel chapter 17 and refer to some verses from this chapter to demonstrate this.

1. He rescued the sheep from the lion and the bear’s mouth. He took responsibility and wouldn’t let the little guy go. He cared for each sheep and had decided each sheep mattered. See verses 34-35

2. He was brave. He put his trust in God. Going after a lion and a bear is not a cowardly job. See verses 34-36.

3. He delegated when it was necessary. To visit his brothers, he left the sheep in the care of a shepherd. See verse 20.

4. He was not put off by other people’s opinions or criticism. His big brother criticised him unfairly but David answered him briefly and then just kept focused on what he was doing, what he believed he should be doing. See verses 28-30.

5. He used what he knew to do what he needed to do. He tried on Saul’s things, tested it out, and decided it wasn’t for him. He reverted to what he knew: his staff, his sling and stones. He reverted to his own tried and tested weaponry. He did not bow to (Saul’s) pressure to do it the way someone else would. He did it his own way. See verses 38-40

6. He ran towards the enemy. He was not afraid of or put off by Goliath. He was not intimidated by Goliath’s disparaging remarks or his great size or the big weapons (sword, spear, javelin) that Goliath carried. David spoke back God’s word to Goliath. He believed God’s word and he acted out what he believed. He spoke, he ran, he struck. See verses 41-50.

Note verse 47:

“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:47 NIV

That statement was deliberate. At that time, the Philistines, Israel’s enemies had banned them from having blacksmiths or swords or spears. Only Jonathan and Saul (the prince and the king) had swords. (See 1 Samuel 13, verses 19 and 22). So the Israelites must have felt disadvantaged going into battle without proper weaponry. David was encouraging them. And David was right. God rescued them without the need for their swords or spears.

“So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.” 1 Samuel 17:50

The book of psalms describes some of David’s leadership qualities: integrity of heart, and skills.

“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” Psalms 78:72

David took care of them with unselfish devotion
and led them with skill. Psalms 78:72

David was persistent. He didn’t give up in the face of adversity or challenges. He pressed on with confidence in God.

David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all. – 1 Samuel 30:18-19