“Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? May the Lord be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.”
– 1 Samuel 24:14,15
Yesterday we talked about King David and the wilderness he experienced between the time he was called and the fulfillment of his anointing. Today, I want to share with you another important lesson learned in this young leader’s winter season: he watched a great man fall.
At one time, King Saul was a pristine example of a leader. He was the first king of Israel and he saw the Hebrew nation go from a tribal people to a state. Yet how far he fell; from a wise, noble and courageous ruler, he grew into a jealous, bitter, and crazy commander who spent years chasing a shepherd around the desert. As confusing and terrifying as it must have been for young David, he was also given a great gift in his wilderness. Knowing that he would one day be king, I’m sure he took note of his predecessor and wondered what had caused his unfortunate demise. As he examined and learned from the life of Saul, David undoubtedly became a better leader, because he was able to glean wisdom from his mistakes.
Friend, this is one of the greatest gifts we receive in the wilderness seasons of life. In the gap between God’s call and the time it comes to pass, we have opportunities to grow and learn, even if it’s from the missteps of others. Never underestimate the blessing of observation and what it means to be close to a leader, whether wise or foolish. As I look at our world today, I can’t help but wish that everyone who is entrusted with power and position, whether in politics, a church, education, or a corporation, would examine and learn from history and the leaders who have gone before them.
I encourage you, beloved child of God, to be willing to stand in the wilderness and recognize how ego, pride, self-deception, bitterness, unforgiveness, and envy lead to a hard fall for both a leader and those they lead. As Jesus refines you and prepares you to step fully into your anointing, keep your heart humble and your eyes focused solely on the author and perfecter of your faith! In His Kingdom, no season is wasted; He wants to help, teach, and guide you, preparing you in advance for every good work! Isn’t that great news?
Teach me, Jesus, to learn from the lives of those around me. May I have eyes to see as you see and a heart that desires Godly wisdom above all else.
Have you ever watched a great man or woman fall? What did you learn from it?