Thursday, February 28, 2013

1 Samuel 25,26 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 25

LEADERSHIP - 1). Samuel died and the entire country mourned for him. (v.1) Samuel was a key leader for Israel, the last in a long line of judges. He anointed Saul and David and was God’s key man for instituting change in the country. Though he didn’t like the people’s decision, he stood by them and supported them through the change. The country was faithful to him because he was faithful to them. Great leadership will always be appreciated; if not now, then somewhere down the road. 2). Nabal was wealthy, with numerous livestock and a beautiful, intelligent wife. (v.2,3) He lived in a desert but was very successful in spite of the lack of resource around him. He was successful in building up a tremendous amount of wealth and a beautiful wife, even if it he acquired these things by being surly and mean. Even poor leaders can find success at times, but it won’t last in the end. 3). David asked Nabal for help because he had been kind to his servants and shepherds when they were near. (v.7,8) David instructed his men to be kind to others and not to harm or mistreat people they were not at war with. Though he could have tried to rough them up and gain a tactical advantage, David chose a path of peace before a path of war. We should always strive to settle problems peacefully before looking at other options. When we treat others well, they are more likely to reciprocate those actions with us. 4). David encouraged the men to gear up with their swords like he had. (v.13) He told them to prepare for battle, and as their leader he would lead the way. He didn’t ask them to do anything he was unwilling to do himself. He set the example and took his sword in his own hand. If we desire to be good leaders, we must lead the charge, set the example, and have people follow our words and deeds. 5). David took 400 men with him to attack Nabal, but left 200 back with the supplies at his base. (v.13) He wanted to defeat Nabal, but he didn’t want to risk losing the supplies in case things didn’t go so well on the attack. David was cautious, and didn’t let his great success get to his head and cause him to pridefully assume that he couldn’t lose. He took 2/3’s of his men to battle, and left 1/3 to watch their supplies. 6). Abigail showed great leadership skills. (v.18,19) She listened to what her servants said, and responded immediately. She loaded up a vast supply of resources and headed out with her servants to approach David, without telling Nabal about it. She didn’t falter in a moment of indecision, but confidently moved about in what she knew was right. We shouldn’t procrastinate when the situation calls for urgency. Had she waited, David and his men might have reached Nabal and had a violent battle with many lives lost. Her quickness in action saved lives. 7). Nabal went into a coma upon hearing the news from Abigail that she had intervened to save his life. (v.37) He was shocked and surprised, and physically his heart failed him. When he realized the error of his ways, it was too much for him to bear. Good leaders will always try to have a handle on where they are at in certain situations so surprises don’t stress them out to the point of depression or physical problems.

1 Samuel 26

LEADERSHIP - 1). David sent out scouts to see if Saul was pursuing him yet again. (v.4,5) His scouts returned with the news that Saul was on the move. David must have been disappointed in this development. When he first heard the rumors, he sent scouts to prove if it was true. We should never just take people’s words on delicate issues, we must make sure we have the truth and pursue that with all of our effort. 2). Saul was laying down, with his army camped all around him. (v.5) The last time he was close to David, David snuck up and took him by surprise. This time, though he was in error yet again by pursuing David, he learned from his past mistakes and kept his army close. As he lay down, he was protected by his army on every side. We need to learn from past mistakes so we don’t make the same errors again. Mistakes can be great lessons of leadership. 3). David corrected Abishai, and protected him from disaster. (v.9,10) Though Abishai was ready to kill Saul, David kept him from doing it. Only God had the authority to determine when Saul’s time was up, and David wasn’t about to try and decide that for himself. He already had the opportunity once and didn’t do it, so why ruin his standing with God now in this opportunity? David didn’t let his friend coerce him into making a mistake. 4). David said that Abner and his men deserved to die because they didn’t protect the king. (v.16) As the kings servants, their role was to honor and defend the king at all costs. When David snuck up on the king earlier, his men weren’t at fault. But in this instance, he stole the kings spear and water jug while he was in the midst of his men. David was showing Abner that even their best efforts were not enough to keep God from having his way. 5). David warned Saul that he would be unsuccessful in tracking him down in the wilderness. (v.20) He compared it to a man looking for a flee, or a bird in the mountains which wouldn’t be limited by daring landscapes because of its’ ability to fly. David was confident in his abilities at stealth and his knowledge of the land, and he made sure that Saul knew it as well. He was hoping that this mad chase would end.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

1 Samuel 23,24 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 23

LEADERSHIP - 1). When David was told that the Philistines were attacking his people, he asked God what he should do. (v.1,2) He didn't just rush to his own decision, he asked for God's opinion because He wanted to be obedient to His Lord. He knew where his power came from and that he would need God on his side to defeat the Philistines. Before making big decision that affect people's lives, we should always seek after God's will the best that we can. 2). David heard his men's concerns and went back to ask God again. (v.4) Though he knew what God had said, he wanted his men to be sure so he asked God a second time. David didn't force his men into submission, he heard their pleas and gave them what they needed to follow him wholeheartedly. As leaders, it's important to hear our people and listen to their thoughts and advice.

LEADERSHIP - David had an army that grew to 600 men. (v.13) It used to be 400, but after a battle or two, it had grown by a third. David is advancing, his army is growing, and he is becoming more and more powerful according to God's plan. Leaders will lead wherever they go.

1 Samuel 24

LEADERSHIP - David rebuked his men for trying to convince him to kill King Saul. (v.7) Just like his men, he also wanted his struggles to end, but he wanted to please God more. David made the right choice; had he tried to harm Saul, 3,000 men would have rushed into the cave and destroyed David and his group altogether. He knew that he shouldn’t touch God’s anointed, and he disciplined his men to do the same. Rebuking is a part of being a leader; when people do something wrong, they need to be corrected appropiately so they don’t do it again. Good leaders do not back away from proper confrontation. Good leaders also know when to make the tough decision even if everyone around them disagrees and won't like it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

1 Samuel 21,22 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 21

LEADERSHIP - 1). Doeg the Edomite was there watching David. (v.7) David had King Saul's head shepherd nearby. This was a man that might have been looking up to David, dreaming of doing what David did, rising to stardom from being a lowly shepherd. This was a man that had a lot in common with David, one that he may have been able to befriend and develop into an incredible warrior like himself. David was making some bad choices, and an impressionable man was nearby, watching. As leaders, there is always someone watching; we never have a break from being our best for God. 2). Achish's servants called David the king of the land. (v.11) They recognized that he was the champion of Israel, the one who took down the giant. His reputation was elevating his status among the people of the land. Great acts will precipitate great opportunities in our lives. 3). Achish said that he had no shortage of madman. (v.15) He asked them to take David away because he had plenty of crazy people in his care. This may have been a derogatory statement about his own men, belittling them. He wasn't a great leader, making fun of his own people, and missing a chance to destroy David.

1 Samuel 22

LEADERSHIP - The outcasts of society gathered around David. (v.2) He built up an army of 400 men. They were drawn to David who was now one of them. When God makes someone a leader, they are a leader wherever they go. God will use His leaders in any situation they are in.

LEADERSHIP - 1). King Saul asked Ahimilech why he had conspired with David against him. (v.13) We know that David misled the priest into helping him, but Saul didn't know that. He asked Ahimilech directly, not just taking Doeg's word on the issue. Whenever we have conflict of any kind it's important to face it head on and address it personally. We must know the true facts before we move forward with action. 2). David accepted responsibility for the death of Abiathar and the town of Nob. (v.22) He remembered seeing Doeg at Nob, and he knew that he would run to tell King Saul of his whereabouts, but he did nothing about it. He should have acted upon his instincts and trust the Holy Spirit within him. He learned a powerful lesson that day to act when he knew something was about to happen. Leaders are called to be active, not passive.

Monday, February 11, 2013

1 Samuel 19,20 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 19

LEADERSHIP - 1). David ran away, and went to Samuel. (v.18) The first place he went was to the leader who anointed him to be King. He went back to his roots; he captured his purpose again. When we are on the run, we need to have leaders we can run to in times of need. Being a leader is being someone that others can run to. A good leader has that person in their life as well. 2). Samuel and David connected, and God protected them from the attacks of King Saul. (v.23) When we lead others according to God's plans, He will orchestrate things to keep us where he wants us to be. God will do things to keep us leading others; things we can't see and won't know are happening. 3). People wondered if Saul was one of the prophets. (v.24) They saw him prophecying and assumed he was a prophet but we know that he was still an evil man. Just because people show brief moments of spiritual fervor doesn't mean they are leaders for God. It must be a consistent thing in their lives, not just a momentary episode.

1 Samuel 20

LEADERSHIP - 1). David put together a plan to convince Jonathan that Saul was trying to kill him. (v.5-7) Jonathan would judge King Saul's actions after David missed the new moon festival. It was a good plan though it involved misleading Saul to get to the truth. David had to be strategic to convince his friend. 2). Jonathan also had a plan. (v.18-22) He would take a boy and shoot some arrows, indicating his father's intentions with the destination of the arrows. Again, it was a plan hidden in true intentions to protect David. Jonathan showed good leadership skills as well in helping with the situation. Leaders are people of action. 3). Saul was looking for David. (v.26,27) He noticed that he was gone. He didn't let the hype of the big event distract him from keeping tabs on his leaders. Though he was looking for David with evil intent, he was good to hold his men accountable for their actions. 4). Jonathan led this young boy in actions that would help his friend David. (v.38-40) He told him to hurry and find the arrows, a hint to his friend to hurry because his life was in danger. He didn't tell the boy what was going on, to protect him. He sent him back to town before he confronted David. He gave the young man just what he needed to be involved and grow without giving him too much info, which could have hurt him in the end. When working with others, it's important for us to give them exactly what they need to do their job.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

1 Samuel 17,18 - Leadership Notes

1 Samuel 17

VERSES 1- 58
LEADERSHIP - 1). David left his flock in the care of another shepherd when he was gone. (v.20) He was responsible. He didn't want to let them suffer in his absence. He took care of business before he moved on. This is another sign of responsibility and integrity; reasons why God made David king. 2). Saul offered rewards to the warrior bold enough to defeat Goliath. (v.25) He would reward them with great wealth and his daughter's hand in marriage. They would also never be taxed again. He would change their lives for risking their lives for him. It is good for us to reward people accordingly for the things they do to serve us. 3). Saul sent for David after hearing about what the men were saying about him. (v.31) Saul knew that a skirmish was developing and he sent for David to take care of it. Leaders should keep a pulse on what their followers are doing and step in when needed. 4). David would protect his sheep. (v.34,35) He was a good shepherd. When animals attacked, he would attack the animals and destroy them to keep them from coming back. David was willing to risk his life to protect those he was responsible for. 5). Saul tried to dress David in his own armor, to protect him from Goliath. (v.38,39) He gave him the best armor in the land, the armor of the King. He tried to prepare him the best he could to be successful in his endeavor. Good leaders give their people the best tools to get the job done. 6). David took the armor off because it didn't fit. (v.39) He tried to pull the sword out, but he wasn't used to it and it wouldn't work. He was already against the odds facing a giant and he didn't need to make it worse with an armor malfunction. He learned that by being himself he would be best prepared to defeat Goliath. The tool doesn't have the power; the power lies in the person who holds the tool in their hands. 7). When David spoke, it moved Goliath to action. (v.48) After Goliath had spoke, David stood his ground and answered him. After David spoke, Goliath couldn't hold it in and rushed into battle. David showed leadership even in his control of the battle with the giant. He edged him on to come closer, within range of his slingshot. 8). When Israel saw what David did, they surged forward to victory, slaughtering the Philstines. (v.51,52) When the Philistines saw Goliath topple, they ran in fear. Both sides followed their leader. As leaders, we must be courageous and strong because all those watching will follow our lead. 9). David was a servant of Saul as a harp player, but King Saul didn't know who David's family was. (v.58) Surely, in their times of working together, the issue of David's family would surface, but it seems that Saul had never considered it before. Evidently, he didn't take a big interest in the lives of 'the little people'. Good leaders make all of their followers, both big and small, feel special.

1 Samuel 18

LEADERSHIP - 1). Saul kept David with him from that point on. (v.2) He would not return to his father's house as a boy. He had proven himself as a warrior, and a subject of the King. Saul saw a great leader and held onto him. When we see these leaders in our midst, we must hold on to them if possible and work together. 2). Saul gave David many tasks to do in the army, and he was successful with all of them. (v.5) Saul saw his progress and increased his rank. He gave David the opportunity to shine and when he did, Saul rewarded him accordingly. Challenges flow with rewards which bring more challenges, spurring us on to growth. 3). The ladies gave credit to Saul for thousands, yet David was credited with tens of thousands. (v.7) They recognized a difference in the quality of their leadership. True leadership doesn't write it's own promotion; our followers will decide and prove how effective we  truly are. 4). Saul offered David his daughter Merab's hand in marriage. (v.17) His desire was to entice David to continue leading his campaigns against the Philistines, leading to his eventual death on the battlefield. It also made David hope for the best for King Saul, out of loyalty to his wife, the king's daughter. Saul's reward wasn't genuine because of his wrong motives. We should reward others for good work, not just to help them want to do more for our benefit. 5). David didn't feel worthy of the King's daughter. (v.23) He had the boldness to stand up to the king and say no. He even initially resisted the pressure of the kings attendants. He knew that he was poor and felt that he was unknown, though surely he knew that the crowds loved him. David wasn't willing to be influenced callously by others around him, and neither should we. 6). David went to battle as a commander for the king, and had more success than any of Saul's officers. (v.30) He grew in popularity with the people and with the army as well. Good leadership will always have a crowd of people willing to follow along.