Summary: A godly leader is able to bring community where there was once disunity.
1. Godly leadership encourages commitment
a. 1 Chronicles 11: 1-3 says, “Then all Israel gathered together to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. 2 In times past, even when Saul was king, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the LORD your God said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over my people Israel.’” 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD. And they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel.”
b. “By this time, David had reigned as the king of Judah for more than seven years. His capital was Hebron, located squarely in the middle of Judah. Hebron was a city with a long and distinguished history. The patriarchs were buried here. This was the city that Caleb had claimed many years before as a reward for his faithfulness.
c. “After Saul’s disastrous time on the throne, the tribe of Judah was not about to submit to the rule of any other tribe’s leader, so they made David their king. The other tribes were not ready to follow suit. But now, they found themselves in serious need of leadership, and they turned to David.” (Holman OT Commentary: 1 & 2 Chronicle, p. 90)
d. A godly leader is able to bring community where there was once disunity.
e. Often, when there is disunity or a lack of community, there is a lack of leadership. Often, when there is indecision, lack of coordination, and an absence of decisiveness, it is because there is a lack of leadership.
f. The people realized that David was filling a void that Saul had created. They realized the failures of the reign of Saul.
g. Saul had been made king because he was head and shoulders above the rest of the population. But he ended his reign after losing his head to a Philistine sword. The people were afraid, forsaken, and scattered. Listen to 1 Samuel 31:7: “And when the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, with those who were beyond the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled; then the Philistines came and lived in them.” They were without a leader.
i. Without any leadership, community is difficult
ii. With worldly leadership, community is possible
iii. With Godly leadership, community is natural
h. The people of Israel said, “We are your own flesh and blood….” The people literally were saying, “David, we unite under your leadership.” How do we know it was godly leadership?
i. Psalm 78: 70-71 records a simple, yet beautiful analysis of the rule of King David.
i. 70 He chose David his servant
and took him from the sheepfolds;
71 from following the nursing ewes he brought him
to shepherd Jacob his people,
Israel his inheritance.
72 With upright heart he shepherded them
and guided them with his skillful hand.
j. “With upright heart he shepherded them.” David led with a godly heart.
k. For the first fifty years of his life, David was a man of integrity. He was a man of purity. He was a man after God’s own heart. Unfortunately, the last 20 years are marred with poor choices. But at the start of his reign, he was a godly leader.
l. A man who walks with integrity in all that he says and does will attract a crowd. Once the crowd has gathered, they will follow him. Once they follow him, he is a leader. As that person continues to walk in integrity, the crowd will grow in their commitment to their leader.
m. Now think about this for a moment.
i. David had slain a bear and lion as a boy.
ii. He had defeated the giant no one else was willing to face. “Shortly after he killed Goliath, David became the most outstanding military commander in Israel, giving rise to the chant, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (1Samuel 18:7). Furthermore, David had been able to inflict significant losses on the Philistines.” (Holman OT Commentary: 1 & 2 Chronicle, p. 90). But it was his upright heart that led people to follow him.
iii. He had survived 13 years on the run, and spared the life of Saul not once but twice
iv. But that is not what encouraged people to commit to him.
v. It was that David had been chosen by God and had followed after God. “
2. Commitment brings about victory
b. The fortified section of Jerusalem, called Jebus, had been a thorn in the side of the Israelites during the entire time they had lived in the holy land. Jerusalem was located in the mountains of Judea, right at the southern edge of the territory allocated to Benjamin. At Jerusalem, the settlement surrounding the city was highly vulnerable and had, in fact, been taken over by the tribe of Benjamin. Already in the earliest years of the conquest under Joshua, the king of Jerusalem had been killed. Nevertheless, the Jebusite fortress overlooking Jerusalem, the last stronghold of Canaanite power, had never been captured.