David as a Men’s Leader

Have you ever noticed that David is introduced twice in the Bible?

The first time we meet David is in 1 Samuel 16 when Samuel is instructed to anoint a new king because Saul has been rejected.  After being anointed, David is almost immediately summoned to the royal court.  The court was looking for a musician who could comfort Saul when tormented by an evil spirit. In this passage David was described as a man of valor, a warrior, and even was made Saul’s armor bearer, but his primary role was as a musician.

The second time we meet David is in 1 Samuel 17 when Goliath is paralyzing the armies of Israel with fear. David is described in this later passage as a youth. In this passage Saul doesn’t seem to be aware of who David is, as evidenced by his asking for details of the young man after he slays Goliath. Of course, you already know who won in this confrontation.

The reason for the two introductions may be as simple as the two passages are recorded out of order. First as a young man David slayed Goliath then later Saul looked for a man who was a musician and happily it was the same David.

But I tend to believe there are no accidents in Scripture.  Perhaps instead we are given the two sides of David’s life separately to help us better understand who he was and why he was such a capable leader of men.

First there is David the musician, who writes praise songs for God, whom he knows well. If this first introduction is given first because of its importance, then the lesson is that relationship with God is of primary importance.  There are several lessons we can learn from David that might be important to men today.

  • David was boldly expressive in worship. David was accustomed to not just having his faith, but joyfully expressing it in song. When given opportunity to help others with worship he was willing.
  • David was comfortable being alone with God. This likely included both speaking to God and hearing from God. Looking at his psalms, you can see that David respected God’s presence and expected God’s answers.
  • David was obedient and willing to serve. When called to assist Saul in whatever way he was called upon to do so. There seemed to be no ego holding back his humble service.
  • David respected God’s calling and anointing, both as it applied to his own life and to the lives of others. Since he was already anointed as the next king, we might have expected him to take the throne by force, but instead he waited on God’s timing and leading.

The second side of David’s life is a leader and warrior as portrayed by slaying Goliath.  There are some noteworthy aspects of this side of David.

  • David was willing to speak out and act, even when everyone else would not. He used his courage to move forward and to move others forward.
  • David was aware of himself, his capabilities and limitations. He was able to quickly recount his past victories, but refused to fight as a king in the king’s armor.
  • David heard and made intentional decisions in regard to opposition. His brothers did their best to chase him off, but David refused to be dissuaded from his course.
  • David sought to understand the entire picture of risk and reward. He spoke to several people seeking to know what the king would do for the man who slayed Goliath.

A good men’s ministry has to address both aspects of manhood we find in David’s life.  First and foremost we need to hold one another accountable in our daily relationship.  But in so doing there has to be some practical application of our men’s faith in kingdom building. There will need to be some purpose, goal, battle, or accomplishment beyond just personal knowledge and disciplines.

David had both sides of this tricky balance, and becomes a great leader of men over the next many chapters.

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