The Teachable Leader
Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 16:1-19:7
My selection: II Samuel 19:5-8
Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6 because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you, for today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7 Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.” 8 Then the king arose and took his seat in the gate. And the people were all told, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate.” And all the people came before the king.
My reflections: For the second time, Joab wisely and courageously stands up to King David and sets him straight for his own good. [ See II Samuel 12:26-30]. David is naturally overcome with grief that his rebellious son is dead, but he has lost sight of the bigger picture that his army has risked their lives to save his, they have been successful, but their day of celebration has been turned into a day of mourning because of David’s attitude.
For a second time, David again listens and heeds Joab’s advice. In another instance, he responded to the confrontation of the prophet Nathan when confronted about his sin. [See II Samuel 12:13].
There is certainly a pattern of sin and error on David’s part, but more importantly there is a parallel pattern of his humbly responding to the faithful counselors who correct him.
As Solomon would later write in Ecclesiastes 4:13: Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.
It would be easy for a king, like David, to get so intoxicated with his own greatness that he cannot listen to even wise and gracious counselors. No one is immune to making sinful or foolish decisions. No one is so wise that he never needs advice.
My challenge: Are you receptive to constructive criticism? Do you have wise counselors in your life who can help you see when you have veered off the path of godliness?
Be approachable. Be receptive. Encourage those wise and loving friends who are looking out for your well-being and faithfulness to the Lord.
Tomorrow’s reading: 2 Samuel 19:8-21:22