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successful leader April 28 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Psalms 16, 101; 2Samuel 5:6-12,17-25; 6:1-11; 23:13-17; 1Chronicles 11:4-9,15-19; 13; 14:1-2,8-12,13-17

Leadership - Starting Out Right

If you are given a new position as the head of your department, the head of your family, or are the leader of any other group, you will likely face many challenges. How can you obtain the LORD's favor and have probable success? King David knew how to start out right, and by the end of this study we will know.

In our daily chronological Bible study, David has recently been installed as king of all Israel and Judah. He knows that God has been gracious to him, for only ten years ago he had been pursued by King Saul with murderous intent. Then David reigned as king of Judah for seven years. Now he was king of all Israel as God promised him. God had protected him and lifted him up to a high position. How could he start out right? What can we learn from David?

First, to begin right, we must think soberly and thankfully about our position. David said in Psalm 16:2,5,6 and 11

I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing…. LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance…. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (NIV)

Second, to begin right, we must appreciate those who work with us or whom we lead, and we should act justly on their behalf. In Psalm 16:3 David says of Israel, “As for the saints [righteous ones] who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.” (NIV). He further writes in Psalm 101:5 “Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.” (NIV)

Appreciating our co-laborers is important because sometimes we have to work together or even fight battles together. David soon led his army to fight against the Jebusites to establish his reign from Jerusalem, a city centrally located between Israel and Judah in neutral territory, a place that could be well defended (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the Old Testament by Walvoord and Zuck, ©1985, p. 461). Jerusalem was the highest city in the area with impenetrable walls, but it was controlled by the Jebusites. In fact, the Jebusites boasted that even the blind and lame could defend their fortress. But Joab, David’s commander. engineered a plan to enter the city through the water shaft. Israel’s army entered through the water shaft to attack those “lame and blind” Jebusites. Now David was the new king of the hill, otherwise known as the hill of Zion. There he called it the city of David and a palace was built for him.

Meanwhile, the Philistines heard that David was the new king and took their entire army to search out and destroy him. With the help of the LORD and Israel’s armies, however, they were soundly defeated, twice. “And he [David] became more and more powerful, because the LORD God Almighty was with him,” (2Samuel 5:10; 1Chronicles 11:9, NIV). Do you want the LORD to give you success? Then you must lead others to victory by following the LORD. “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken,” (Psalms 16:7, NIV).

Third, to start out right, we must exercise personal godliness and integrity and lead others to do the same. David writes in Psalm 16:4, “The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods. I will not pour out their libations of blood or take up their names on my lips.” (NIV). He further states in Psalm 101: 2-4,

I will be careful to lead a blameless life-- when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil. (NIV)

When Israel defeated the Philistines they took their idols. They did not worship them, however; David had them burned (1Chronicles 14:12). This is how David led Israel with integrity.

Fourth, to begin right, we must inquire of the LORD before we make major decisions and involve others. And, after the LORD answers, we must completely obey his instructions. David did this repeatedly, and it led to his success (2Samuel 5:18-20. cf. 1Chronicles 14:8-12; 2Samuel 5:22-25 cf. 1Chronicles 14:13-17).

Fifth, to provide good spiritual leadership, we must lead our followers to worship the LORD. David tried to bring the Ark of the Covenant to a place he prepared in Jerusalem so that the people would have a visual symbol and a place to worship God (1Chronicles 13:1-4). Unfortunately, his first attempt failed because he failed to follow the Levitical law on how to carry the ark in the proper manner so as to bring honor to God. We are human. We may also falter in our attempts to please God, but let us not be discouraged. Let us try again, and this time let us seek to do things the way the LORD prescribes.

Sixth, to start out right we must surround ourselves with faithful leaders (our cabinet, so to speak). David wrote,

My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me. No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. (Psalm 101:6, NIV)

Lessons to live by: David gives us six secrets to his early success. Following these principles will help us start out right. Consistency in doing them will bring consistent success. In all things, if we put the LORD first and seek his counsel, he will lead and guide us and his blessing will be upon us.

  • Do you know the LORD? You need a right relationship with him to experience his blessings (more...)
  • First, to begin right, we must think soberly and thankfully about our position.
  • Second, to begin right, we must appreciate those who work with us or whom we lead, and act justly on their behalf. Furthermore, we must lead others to victory by following the LORD.
  • Third, to start out right, we must exercise personal godliness and integrity.
  • Fourth, to begin right, we must inquire of the LORD before we make major decisions and involve others.
  • Fifth, though we may not be perfect, spiritual leaders must lead their followers to worship the LORD.
  • Sixth, to start out right, we must surround ourselves with faithful leaders.

Today’s Bible memory verse:

Psalm 16:7 “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me,” (NIV).

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

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