As we continue on with the daily Bible Reading Schedule, there is this passage that shows successful leadership by David. It is successful because of how he handled a difficult situation and the long term outcome of it:
“Brothers!” David said. “Don’t act that way with the things the Lord has given us. He has protected us and handed over to us the raiding party that had attacked us. How could anyone agree with you on this plan? The share of those who went into battle and the share of those who stayed with the supplies will be divided equally.” So from that day forward, David made that a regulation and a law in Israel, which remains in place even now.
The issue at hand was that 200 of the 600 men that David led were too tired to go on with the raiding party to get back all of their belongings after their home in Ziklag was sacked. They stayed behind while the other 400 went on and attacked the Amalekites. Not only did the 400 retrieve their own property and families, but they also gained all the plunder the Amalekites had taken from other towns as well. As the 400 come back to the 200, their opinion is that the 200 ought to receive back their own families, but since they did not fight in battle, they ought not have any of the extra spoils.
This is a logical position to take. If you did not sacrifice or put your own life on the line, why would you share in the reward? And had David simply told the 400 they ought to share, he would have been outnumbered and possibly seen his army desert him since they would have to give up what they fought to acquire.
David, however, leads through this situation in a different way. Instead of ordering the 400 to distribute from what they had gained in victory to those who did not fight, he leads in a different way. David reminded all 600 men that it was the Lord who blessed them through the whole process–the Lord told them to go and pursue the Amalekites. The Lord put an Egyptian guide in their path to lead them to the Amalekites. And the Lord gave them the victory over their enemies. It was the Lord, not the 400, who is the hero in this incident. By reminding all of them of this fact, when David tells the 400 to give the 200 an equal share there is no complaining. On the contrary, this becomes a lasting ordinance for the life of the nation of Israel. Now that is leadership with a legacy!
It is always important when we find ourselves in positions of leadership to be able to give credit where it is ultimately due. David, through his humility, recognized that everything he did and everything he possessed was a gift from the Lord. Because he believed this so fully and completely he could spread that truth to others. As Christian leaders we must remember that it is God who gave us all of our abilities and talents. If we give the appropriate credit to God, and do not take it for ourselves, we can experience the same kind of successful leadership David did.