The Lids That Limited Saul
God removed all the external lids from Saul’s life when the son of Kish ascended Israel’s throne. But even without any external lids to his leadership, he still labored under several internal lids:
- Fear: Saul began his reign by hiding among the equipment.
- Impatience: Saul refused to wait for Samuel and offered an illegal sacrifice.
- Denial: Saul continued as though all was well even after Samuel declared that God had rejected him as king.
- Impulsiveness: Saul rashly made an oath that almost cost him the life of his son.
- Deceit: Saul offered his daughter Michal to David, hoping the young man would die in battle to win her hand in marriage.
- Jealousy: Saul became enraged when the people compared him to David, and from then on kept a jealous eye on the young man.
- Anger: Saul repeatedly tried to kill David.
Because Saul never removed the lids from his leadership, God had to remove him from the throne of Israel.
The Lids That Did Not Limit David
David also had many lids on his life, both internal and external, but they did not stop him:
- His family. David’s limitations started at home. When Samuel asked Jesse to gather all his sons so God could reveal the next king of Israel, no one thought to invite David. His brothers thought no better of him than did his father. When David visited the battlefront, they scorned him. When David spoke out against Goliath’s blasphemy, his brothers insulted him and told him to go home.
- His leader. Saul continually tried to sabotage David’s leadership and effectiveness. When David offered to fight Goliath, Saul told him, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him” (1 Sam. 17:33). Then Saul tried to put his heavy armor on the boy—he certainly wasn’t going to use it! For many years, Saul tried repeatedly to kill David.
- His background. David came from a family of poor shepherds. His father, Jesse the Bethlehemite, lacked both lofty lineage and powerful position. David wasn’t even the eldest son in his family; seven older brothers all came before him.
- His youthfulness and inexperience. At the time Samuel anointed David, the boy had no experience leading anything but sheep. When he stepped forward to fight Goliath, others considered him “only a youth,” and he had never fought a wartime battle. Time and again, people underestimated and disrespected him.
The One Who Lifted the Lid
Ultimately David became a great leader-yet not because he lacked limitations in life. He achieved much because he became a lid lifter.
Every leader has lids on his life; nobody is born without them. And they don’t disappear when a person receives a title, achieves a position, or gets invested with power. The issue is not whether you have lids, but what you are going to do about them.
As the Leader, So the Nation – 1 Kings 14:1-15:34
Leadership ability is the lid on the success of a nation or organization. When Israel or Judah lived under good kings, things went well. Under bad kings, things went sour.
The heart and skill of a leader will always tremendously affect the life of the people under his direction. This is a law, both timeless and universal. See how this law played out under the Hebrew kings of the Old Testament.
|Good Kings||Bad Kings|
|1. Drew loyalty from their people||1. Drew rebellion from their people|
|2. Enjoyed victory over sin||2. Saw bondage to sin|
|3. Enjoyed peace within the kingdom||3. Suffered turmoil within the kingdom|
|4. Were affirmed by God’s prophets||4. Were rebuked by God’s prophets|
|5. Enjoyed prosperity||5. Often endured natural disasters and war|
|6. Opposed evil kings||6. Opposed good kings.|
Join me next time for part 1 of Leadership Quality: Character.