Posts Tagged ‘David’

The Woman on the Roof

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 by James Flynn

This week’s news contains disturbing news of another potential scandal in the making involving a large church, a powerful ministry, and the lives of several young men who claim to be victims.  I won’t even mention names, because as is often the case, the individual is being tried in the court of popular media and opinion before all facts are known.  Several facts are clear.  We are fallible human beings that sometimes seem hopelessly broken.  People love to revel in hypocrisy and rub our Christian noses in it when they even get a hint we might deserve it.  We as Christians need to trust God for wisdom and mercy to keep our business straight because the world is very willing to give us a hand doing so!

Christians claim to have what the world is desperately seeking.  That makes them jealous sometime.  Because of our faith we understand that life is infused with meaning and purpose, and that each of us has a specific reason to live.  We are not just another species of animal placed on the earth to live, breathe, eat, and die.  The Master Architect has designed us for his purpose and if we chose to seek Him, He will reveal that purpose piece by piece throughout our lives (Isa. 46:9, 10).  This allows us to live a life of purpose and meaning, which so many are seeking.  One of the biggest dangers to realizing our full purpose and potential is that we will get distracted.

David had it all.  He had the good looks (1 Sam. 16:12).  He was young and courageous, able to defeat giants that left others trembling (1 Sam. 17:37).  He had friends in high places (1 Sam. 18:1), married the king’s daughter (1 Sam. 18:22), and had a very successful military career.  He was a “man after God’s own heart” and became the king of Israel.  Life was not always easy, but he had it pretty good until one day he got distracted.  It was the woman on the roof.

David was awake one evening and took a stroll on the roof top of his palace residence on top of Mt. Zion (1 Sam 11:1-17).  He could see the other roof tops from his vantage point and saw something beautiful that caught his attention – the figure of a woman bathing at night in the privacy of her own roof top residence.  He was taken by her beauty—he had to have her though she was the wife of another.  This desire led to adultery and murder.  It led to the death of an innocent child conceived by his lover and problems in his household that would never depart though out his lifetime (1 Sam. 12:9-16).  All this because David was distracted in a moment of weakness. Read the rest of this entry »

Spirituality and Leadership (Part 3)

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 by Diane Chandler

Over the past few weeks, I’ve focused on spirituality and leadership by looking at David’s relationship with God.  Last week’s blog zeroed in on David’s automatic default in times of leadership crises, which was to throw himself on the hesed (love, loving kindness, mercy) of God. 

David’s spiritual rhythms of seeking God, worship, and prayer were released through his poetry and song writing.  How could someone with that amount of leadership stress and crises find time to write poetry?  Read 1 Samuel 19-22 for a snapshot of a few days in the life of God’s anointed on-the-run.  Then read 2 Samuel 8 for an overview of some of David’s military exploits after Saul’s death.  It’s difficult to imagine how someone so action-oriented could also be so reflective, as evidenced by the 150 Psalms in Scripture that are testimonials of David’s spiritual life in God. 

But what about contemporary Christian leaders?  How do we navigate the rigors of leadership, all the while growing in our spiritual communion with God? Read the rest of this entry »

Spirituality and Leadership

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 by Diane Chandler

In my blog last week, I addressed how a leader’s background informs his or her adult leadership style.  From the Hebrew Bible, I contrasted David’s secure attachment to God (forged early in his life) with the ongoing anxious attachment style evidenced by Saul.  Saul’s uncontrollable jealousy and rage are ample indications of the insecurity that infiltrated Saul’s life and leadership. 

The contrasting lives of David and Saul become classrooms for understanding leadership and spirituality ~ specifically how their relationship with God informed (or in Saul’s case, did not inform) their leadership.  The contrast could not be more glaring!

As I read the Psalms attributed to David, one prominent observation concerns David’s utter dependence upon God through the leadership trials he encountered.  And he encountered many ~ namely death threats, opposition, criticism, rejection, mutiny, and troubles of his own making, including ethical breaches and moral failures.

What sustained David through these times?

From a careful reading of the Psalms, what sustained David was his dependence upon the love (Heb. hesed) of God. The Psalms attributed to David are replete with thanks to God for his hesed for past deliverance and cries for God’s unfailing love to continue to deliver and restore him.  See Psalms 6, 13, 17, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 31, 36, 40, 51, 52, 57, 60, 61, 63, 96, 70, 86, 101, 103, 108, 138, 143, and 145.  [Also refer to Dale Coulter’s blog of May 14th, which assessed translations of hesed.]  

David learned how to bed himself in the palm of God’s unfailing love as an automatic default when in crisis. 

Although difficult to translate into English, the meaning of hesed has been shown to connect with God’s covenantal relationship to those who “belong to him” (Claus Westermann, Praise and Lament in the Psalms, 1981, pp. 120-21).  In his book Hesed in the Bible, Nelson Glueck further defines hesed: “To him [David], for whom communion with God is the greatest good, God’s hesed, His love for His followers, is comparable to God’s goodness” (1975, p. 95). Gordon R. Clark notes that hesed includes grace, mercy, compassion, faithfulness, reliability, confidence, and love; yet is much broader than any of these combined (The Word Hesed in the Hebrew Bible, 1993, pp. 267-68).

David’s spirituality informed his leadership with all of its successes and failures because his automatic reflex was to cast himself upon the hesed of God. Saul evidences little to none of this kind of dependence upon or trust in God’s mercy and loving-kindness.

Often when leadership trials come, we might conclude that God is not with us.  Yet David’s spiritual default to leadership crises was to dive headlong into God’s presence, crying out for his loving kindness.  He pressed in boldly.  How can our spirituality inform our leadership with this kind of trust?