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.