2 Samuel 18:3
But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that thou succour us out of the city.
A hard lesson in leadership is to step aside when there is someone better suited for the job. Even harder still is when it’s something that you’re passionate about and you have a goal in mind that you’d like to see accomplished. Such was the case as David and his army prepared to battle Absalom. Their goal as an army was to destroy the enemy whose goal was to take out David; for without David in leadership they knew his army would likely fall apart. David’s love for Absalom governed his heart and he had ask the troop leaders to “Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom” (Vs. 5)
It wasn’t that David didn’t want what God wanted when he made the request for them to spare Absalom, David was a man after God’s own heart. But just like the rest of us, our passions can sometimes cloud our vision and prevent us from seeing what those around us see clearly.
David’s comrades knew that same truth, that without him in leadership they’d be in trouble. It would be much safer for them all if he was not in the battle. David loved Absalom, but that love was not reciprocated and Absalom would have killed his father in a minute.
Matthew Henry once said that “Wisdom teaches us to make the best of the strength we have, and let it reach to the utmost.” Sometimes the strength we have lies in the leadership around us.”
Absalom was killed and David’s heart was broken.
32 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.
33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!
God’s plans don’t always go as we’d like. But David’s clouded leadership didn’t see the vantage point of God that would have likely lead to Absalom being a thorn in David’s side for years to come and undermining God’s design for Israel. His leadership understood it though. Joab finally had to step in again and bring David to his senses.
And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines; In that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants: for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well. Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the Lord, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee from thy youth until now.
I heard it once said that a church rises and falls on leadership. That’s a scary thought, and Like King David we sometimes need a reality check when our decisions are clouded by our passions. God loves passionate people! Just make sure it’s focused passion and that when there is someone better suited to get the job done, let your leaders shine!
FROM THE STUDY “BUT NOW”