There is a time to be clear about what we stand for, and there is a time to act more covertly, keeping the end in mind. How do we know the difference? The clue is here in the text, in which Samuel is continually talking with God for guidance. Under pressure, we may find ourselves making this kind of decision on our own, but that is likely to gravitate toward what is most comfortable for ourselves rather than what God wants.
Can we do the same in our own workplaces, bring our questions and uncertainties to God in prayer? Unlike Saul who had begun his reign soon after Samuel anointed him 1 Samuel , David has a long and difficult apprenticeship before he is acclaimed as king at Hebron. His first public success comes in slaying the giant Goliath, who is threatening Israel's military security. This enrages Saul 1 Sam. Rather than recognizing how both he and the nation can benefit from David's capabilities, he regards David as a threat.
He decides to eliminate David at the earliest opportunity 1 Sam. Thus began a rivalry that eventually forces David to flee for his life, eluding Saul while leading a band of brigands in the wildernesses of Judah for ten years. When given opportunities to assassinate King Saul, David refuses, knowing that the throne is not his to take. It is God's to give. David respects the authority God has given Saul even when Saul acts in dishonorable ways.
This seems like a lesson for those today who work for difficult bosses or are waiting to be acknowledged for their leadership. Even if we sense we are called by God to a particular task or position, this does not authorize us to grasp power by contravening the existing authorities. If everyone who thought God wanted them to be the boss tried to hasten the process by seizing power on their own, every succession of authority would bring little more than chaos. God is patient, and we are to be patient, too, as David was. Can we trust God to give us the authority we need, in his time, to do the work that he wants us to do?
In the workplace, having more authority is valuable for getting necessary work done. Grasping at that authority prematurely by undercutting a boss or by pushing a colleague out of the way does not build trust with colleagues or demonstrate trust in God. At times it can be frustrating when it seems that it's taking too long for the needed authority to come your way, but true authority cannot be grasped, only granted.
David was willing to wait until God placed that authority in his hands. Influence your workplace's culture, even if you think you have no power. Play the video up through From CenterFaithWork on Vimeo. Perhaps realizing the weakness of his claim, David instructs his delegation to be extra polite to Nabal. Nabal will have nothing of it. Suddenly David is about to commit mass murder, while Nabal cares more about his pride than about his workers and family.
These two arrogant men are unable to resolve an argument about sheep without spilling the blood of hundreds of innocent people. She quickly prepares a feast for David and his men, then rides out to meet David with an apology that sets a new standard for courtesy in the Old Testament 1 Sam.
Yet wrapped in the courteous words are some hard truths David needs to hear. He is on the verge of shedding blood without cause, bringing on himself a guilt he could never escape.
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David is moved by her words and abandons his plan to kill Nabal and all his men and boys. He even thanks Abigail for diverting him from his reckless plan. The incident shows that people need to hold their leaders accountable, although doing so may come at the cost of great personal risk.
But you do need courage, which fortunately is something you can receive from God at any time. Nabal turned a petty argument into a life threatening situation by wrapping a minor dispute in a personal insult. Abigail resolves a life-threatening crisis by dressing a major rebuke in a respectful dialogue. In what ways may God be calling you to exercise influence to hold people in positions of higher authority accountable?
How can you cultivate a godly attitude of respect along with an unwavering commitment to telling the truth? What courage do you need from God to actually do it?
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After Saul's death, David is anointed king over the southern tribe of Judah, but not until much blood has been shed is David finally anointed king over all Israel 2 Sam. When David finally comes into his own, he invests his talent in developing others. Contrary to Saul's fears of a rival, David surrounds himself with a company whose exploits rival his own 2 Sam.
He honors them 1 Chron. At last, the loose confederacy of Israelite tribes has come together as a nation. For eighty years, under the rule, first of David c. But amidst their successes, these two rulers also violate God's covenant. While this does only limited damage in their own times, it sets a pattern for those who come after them to turn away from the Lord and abandon his covenant. It seems there are no guarantees that a trustworthy company's past performance will be a reliable indicator of future performance.
The Bible regards David as the model king of Israel, and the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles describe his many successes.
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Yet even David, "a man after God's own heart" 1 Samuel , abuses his power and acts faithlessly at times. He tends to succeed when he does not take himself too seriously, but gets into serious trouble when power goes to his head—for example when he takes a census in violation of God's command 2 Sam. David W. Most people feel uncomfortable in situations of conflict, so we tend to avoid facing conflict, whether at home or at work.
But conflicts are a lot like illnesses. Minor ones may clear up even if we ignore them, but major ones will work their way deeper and more catastrophically into our systems if we do not treat them. This is true for David's family. David allows conflict among some of his sons to plunge his family into tragedy. His oldest son, Amnon, rapes and then shames his half-sister, Tamar 2 Samuel Tamar's full-brother, Absalom, hates Amnon for that crime, but does not speak to him about it.
David knows of the matter but decides to ignore the situation 2 Sam. For more on children who disappoint their parents, see " When children disappoint 1 Samuel For two years everything seems fine, but unresolved conflict of this magnitude never fades away. When Amnon and Absalom take a trip into the country together, Absalom plies his half-brother with wine, then has his servants murder him 2 Sam. The destruction brought about by avoiding the conflict is many times worse than the unpleasantness that might have resulted from dealing with the issues when they first arose.
Harvard professors Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky describe how leaders must "orchestrate conflict," or else it will boil up on its own, thwart their goals, and endanger their organizations. Iverson brought the divisions in to the open by allowing everyone to speak their opinion, protecting them from reprisal from others who might disagree. They waved their arms around and pounded on tables. Faces would get red and veins bulged out. Moreover, by bringing out a variety of facts and opinions, it led to better decisions by the group.
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Ronald A. In 1 Chronicles 13, David confronts a challenge in his work as king, and gets off to a good start in solving it. Nonetheless, rather than strike out on his own, he confers with all his leaders and gains their concurrence. Together they pray to God for wisdom and conclude that they do indeed need to bring back the ark.
It is easy for a leader to make the mistake of going out alone, without counsel from God or from others. David does well to recognize the need for both human and divine counsel. But disaster strikes. Uzzah, who is helping transport the ark, puts hand on it to steady it, and God strikes him dead 1 Chron. This makes David both angry at 1 Chron. What begins as a confirmation from God and trusted colleagues to carry out a project suddenly turns into a dramatic failure. The same happens today. Eventually, almost all of us experience a painful setback in our work.
It can be deeply discouraging, even tempting us to abandon the work that God has called us to do. In what seems like a parenthesis, David carries out two successful battles.
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He inquires of the Lord in each case whether to go ahead, and God sends him out successfully both times. After these successes, David reflects on this experience and orders that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord had chosen them for the task 1 Chron. This was written in the book of the Law Numbers , but had been forgotten or neglected. The second time, because they followed the procedure prescribed by the Law, the ark was successfully moved.
This story is a reminder to us in our own work. It is important to inquire of God and gain counsel from trusted people about what we are to do. But that is not enough. God also cares about how we do the work. David also suffers another failure that, to us in the 21st century, may seem strange. He takes a census of the people of Israel.