What is the nature of leadership? What sets someone aside as a leader? Who gives one person permission or power to lead others?
To give a wider context to our devotional study today, enjoy this short inspirational video of how God empowers leaders. (https://youtu.be/6B-gQSBznmI)
1 Samuel 16:1,11-13
1 The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”
11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.”
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
Observation and reflection questions
Context: To “anoint” literally means to pour fragrant oil over his head, or to rub it on his forehead as symbolic indication that the Lord called him as king, and as catalyst for God’s supernatural empowerment by His Spirit.
- When King Saul was anointed before David, the Spirit of the Lord “rushed upon” him so that he was “turned into a new man” and he began prophesying (1 Sam 10:6; 11:6). Similarly, the Spirit also “rushed upon Samson” before he tore the lion in pieces, destroyed 30’000 Philistines and tore the ropes with which he was tied down (14:6, 19; 15:14). With this in mind, what is meant with the phrase “the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David?” (v13)
- God called David to rule over Israel. Why did the “Spirit of the LORD” need to “rush upon him”?
- Look at verse 13 again. How long did the Spirit remain with David?
- Why did the Lord send Samuel to appoint David for the task? What were the benefits of that public commissioning? (for David, his family, and the nation?)
- Consider (from memory) the history and legacy of King David. What about his life was extra-ordinary? In which ways was he empowered for his call to leadership?
- In spite of his empowerment by the Spirit of God and love for God, King David was clearly sinful. Consider (from memory) David’s recorded moral and ethical flaws. In which ways was he weak to temptation as leader, as a husband, and as a father?
Personal reflection questions
King David was called as leader and reformer in Israel, securing the nations physical and spiritual legacy. For this he was anointed and empowered by the Spirit of God. However, this empowerment did not make him immune to the seduction of riches, power and the flesh.
- Consider your current leadership responsibilities. Where do you exert leadership at the moment? (Note all the major areas – don’t forget your own home as David did!)
- When and where has someone laid hands on you in the presence of God to commission you for these tasks? [If you have not been commissioned for this task, speak to your elder/ pastor / small group leader about this. It needs to be verified and you need to be commissioned.]
- In which ways are you empowered by God for the tasks he has called you?
- In which areas are you weak to temptation?
- Consider this article on Friendship Accountability – someone needs to pray for you about these two aspects of your call! (https://walklikejesus.net/2014/10/09/accountability-in-friendship/)
Thank God for your call to leadership – reaffirm your service to God in these areas. Ask God for grace (empowerment and help) in these areas of service. And ask the Lord for grace to not fall into temptation that you may continue to serve him well today.