LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM 1 SAMUEL 17 - A LEADER TAKES ON PROBLEMS

The uncircumcised Philistine dared the army of God for days; still, no one was willing to take him on (1 Samuel 17:9-11).

‘And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.   11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

Men of courage became men of fear! Men of action became immobilized and paralyzed by inaction! For forty days the Philistine raged (1 Samuel 17:16).

‘And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.’

The more you allow your fears to grow the more it becomes a stronghold and you its prisoner!

Israel had a king, but no leader. They had war veterans but this time there was no resistance! They simply cringed under the weight of this new problem posed by Goliath, they ran from the problem (1 Samuel 17:24)

‘And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.’

But God had a leader prepared; a leader who was willing to take on what everybody else was running away from. David told Saul, give me this philistine! (1 Samuel 17:34-37).

‘And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:  35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth:  and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.   36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear:  and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.   37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.   And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee ‘’

This is the attitude of great leaders; they take head-on, problems that others are running away from!

Moses will not keep silent in the face of the slavery of the Israelites. He faced the problem head-on. Mandela will not allow apartheid to destroy SA, he took the problem head-on. Though imprisoned for 27years his leadership spirit could not be killed.

When Neville Chamberlain was prime minister for Britain during the period leading to the phony war during the Second World War, his strategy was to appease Hitler. Britain wanted none of that! Winston Churchill came in as prime minister. He was willing to take Hitler head on.

His first speech as prime minister was the famous,’ blood and sweat speech’. "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat" Churchill declared. One historian has called its effect on Parliament as "electrifying". The House of Commons that had ignored him during the 1930s "was now listening, and cheering". He did take on Hitler and laid the foundation for the allied forces to defeat the Nazis movement.

All great leaders in history were defined by the problems they solved! The calling of leadership is not to complain about problems but to solve them!

The last thing expected of leadership is to complain about its problems. Truth is if you are not solving a problem, then you are a PROBLEM! Because the continual hesitancy of leadership in dealing with the problems that it faced eventually transmits fear and inaction to the people it leads and allows it problems to fester until it looks insurmountable and undefeatable, like the case of Saul and the Israeli army! That was until David stepped in!

Our generation has its own sets of unique problems waiting for new David's to step on to the scene and take on what everybody else is running away from. In the face of all these religious, economic and political problems, 'it could yet be our finest hour'!

 

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