January 16, 2020 ● 20-1
These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains, he was called Adino the Eznite, because of eight hundred slain by him at one time.
(2 Sam. 23:8)
What does leadership look like? Leaders and leadership styles are as different as there are people in the world. All leaders are the same in that they have been called and placed in a position to lead people towards a goal. Christian leaders are different because of their calling and their goal.
2 Samuel 23 gives us a picture of Christian leadership in two distinctly different pictures: King David and his mighty men. The first picture is one of humility and dependence. The first seven verses of 2 Samuel 23 is David’s recounting his humble background, the basis for his wisdom which was the inspiration of God, and the blessings brought about by being chosen by God and being in a covenant relationship with God. Verse five is very important, for in it David recounts the blessings of God’s covenant: it was everlasting, it was ordered, it was secure, and it was his desire. The first picture of leadership we gain from these seven verses is the picture of dependence on God and humility with being chosen as a leader. David knew all too well that God could take away His blessings just as easily as He had bestowed them.
The second picture is one of action. The “mighty men of David” had earned their titles on the field of battle. As 2 Samuel records, Josheb-basshebeth killed 800 men; Eleazar fought the Philistines, “until his hand was weary and clung to the sword” (v. 10); and Shammah, “took his stand, defended it, and struck the Philistines” (v. 12). Later, King David mentioned he craved water to drink. These three mighty men, “broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David.” (v. 16) David refused to drink because the water caused men to risk their lives for it.
Leaders are humble and dependent on God because they know that God is the source of their being placed in positions of leadership. Leaders are also people of action; when it comes time to act, they do so with decision. Often indecision can paralyze a leader into inaction, and inaction can be very costly.
Christian leaders are called by God to honor Him through humility and dependence on Him. Christian leaders are also called by God to act when necessary, but to act in a way that honors God. If it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then let that picture be the picture of humility, dependence, and action; a picture painted by God in the lives of those He has called to lead.