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The Burdens of Leadership

Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 3:22-6:23

My selection: II Samuel 6:16

As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.

My reflections: David has finally consolidated his kingdom and he rules over all Israel. He has victories on the battlefield, but all is not well. Joab completely disregarded David’s policy toward Abner and executed him for killing Asahel in battle. Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, was assassinated to David’s chagrin. His people mishandled the ark and suffered death for that. Now his wife, Michal, has turned against him openly.

One suspects that Michal’s loyalty to David was not solid, but now she comes out against him. Did she resent his joy in bringing the ark to Jerusalem or was there some vulgar behavior on David’s part which gave her cause to despise him? At any rate, the law had been broken in this marriage. She had been forced to return to David after having another husband. This was an illegal marriage. It was also an unhappy marriage.

Being in leadership brings its own set of problems. Those who look on from the outside imagine how wonderful it must be to reign over a kingdom, to lead an army that is consistently victorious, and to have the praise of the people. But it is not quite so smooth. There is a lot of heat on a leader. David did not always make wise decisions.

Those who aspire to major leadership roles must consider what they are seeking. God had chosen David as king, but that did not mean a comfortable life, and it did not reduce the pressure on him to handle complex questions wisely. It did give him some assurance that the Lord had put him in that position and would lead him and sustain him in it.

My challenge: Do you aspire to greater leadership? Is God opening the door for that? What illusions might you have about the personal benefits of advancement?

Follow the Lord. Do not seek position for the sake of power, prestige, or personal advantage but only to serve the Lord and His people. Be willing to be in obscurity with only the recognition of the Lord in the work He has called you to do.

Tomorrow’s reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-10:19

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