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1 Corinthians 9:19-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may
win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who
are under [a]the Law, as under [b]the Law though not being myself under [c]the Law, so
that I might win those who are under [d]the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as
without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that
I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win
the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23
I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
How do you see these verses relating to the different cultures, beliefs and values of
those you've counseled? Be specific.
Relate how you were called by God into the helping field. Include how you came to
Share what God is teaching you at this time in your life.
Berean Study Bible
Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage
one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
How does being part of a local body of believers help you in your chosen profession.
List a verse in the scripture that speaks of conflict resolution and tell what it means to
Read the following Blog Post about the leadership styles of David and Saul.
What stands out to you?
LEADERSHIP (5): Contrasting Leaders: Saul
& David (Links to an external site.)
Posted on October 4, 2009 by Jerry Starling
Christian leadership focuses on Christ. Yet, there are types and shadows of Christ in
the Old Testament. David was the typical king who pre-figured the Christ. One of the
Messianic designations was The Son of David (Matthew 1:1). While David was far from
sinless, there are aspects of his shepherd-leadership as Israel’s greatest king that
illustrate the leadership principle Jesus taught to his disciples. That principle is universal
in its application. It works in the home; it works in government; it works in business; and,
of course, it works in the church. This principle is explicitly stated in the following:
Jesus called them together and said,
You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and
their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever
wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first
must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:42-45)
Here are two contrasting leadership styles, and Jesus clearly shows which is his. On the
one hand are leaders like the Gentile high officials who “exercise authority” and “lord it
over” their wards. On the other hand are those who, like Jesus, become great leaders
through service to their people.
David, the prototype king of Israel, illustrated one of these. Ironically, Saul the son of
Kish, David’s predecessor on the throne, illustrated the other. Each of these men was
anointed by Samuel, the prophet-priest, at the Lord’s direction. Each was selected from
an unexpected source. Neither began to reign as soon as he was anointed. Each “won”
his crown in battle before he was widely accepted as king. Each was filled with the Spirit
of God and was numbered among the prophets. There the similarities end.
SAUL: PROUD IN HIS POSITION
Saul did not seek to be king, but soon came to like the position. He used more time
maintaining his station than in meeting his responsibilities. When the women of Israel
lauded David, jealousy led Saul to resent his most loyal subject. When Jonathan (Saul’s
son) befriended David, Saul cursed his own son and said, “As long as the son of Jesse
lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established.” Saul even tried to
kill Jonathan on this occasion because his jealous anger was so out of control (1
Notice how interested he is in preserving position? Because of this, he spent his
energies trying to kill David instead of defending Israel. Consequently the Philistines
overran much of Israel during Saul’s reign, though Samuel had subdued this hostile
people during his time as Israel’s last Judge.
Even early in his reign, Saul was arbitrary and unreasonable in his demands as king.
For example, once he ordered his army not to pause to eat even a morsel of food when
they were pursuing the Philistines. As a result, a potentially complete rout of the enemy
became just a minor victory. Jonathan, the hero of the day, was almost executed
because he, not knowing of his father’s order, ate a bit of honey “on the run.” A rift
occurred between Saul and his army. All resulted from Saul’s rash, arbitrary command
(1 Samuel 14).
As king, Saul seemed to think there were no limits to his rights and prerogatives. Once
he exercised the right of the priest, which belonged to Samuel (1 Samuel 13:8-14).
Another time, he took to himself the right of sparing Agag, King of the Amalekites, whom
God had told him to “utterly destroy” (1 Samuel 15). Samuel sharply rebuked him on
each of these occasions and told him the kingdom would be taken from him because of
his rebellion against God.
While Saul ruled, he seemed more and more to see the kingdom as his personal
dominion. He would have accepted Goliath’s assessment of the army of Israel: “Are you
not the servants of Saul?” (1 Samuel 17:8). Saul was the embodiment of Samuel’s
warning to Israel when they had demanded a king. All the evils Samuel predicted were
fulfilled in Saul who effectively enslaved his own people (1 Samuel 8:10-18).
DAVID: HUMBLE IN SERVICE
David exhibited a different spirit. When Goliath, the Philistine giant, hurled his challenge
to the army of Israel, David asked, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should
defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26). When David went to confront
Goliath, he did not go in the name of Saul, but “in the name of the LORD Almighty, the
God of the armies of Israel”(1 Samuel 17:45). David did not look to his own strength or
cunning for victory, but to Jehovah.
Here is the great difference between Saul and David. Saul believed the kingdom
belonged to him to do with as he pleased. David knew the kingdom belonged to God
who ruled it through his servant David. Saul thought the kingdom should go to his son
Jonathan by right of inheritance. David was deeply humbled when God promised the
kingdom would remain in his family forever. He thanked the Lord in this prayer:
Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this
far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, O Sovereign LORD, you have also
spoken about the future of the house of your servant. Is this your usual way of dealing
with man, O Sovereign LORD?
What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Sovereign LORD. For
the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and
made it known to your servant. (2 Samuel 7:18-21)
Did you notice the number of times David referred to God as the “Sovereign LORD”?
David knew who the real King was.
David was far from being a perfect man. Yet, he always saw himself as God’s anointed
servant. He viewed the kingdom as God’s dominion, not his own. To David, the king
existed for the good of the realm, not the other way around. Even when Saul was king
and was trying to kill David, David refused to harm Saul because Saul was the Lord’s
anointed. David’s concept of his place, privileges, and duties was markedly different
from that of Saul.
David, when king, was still a man of the people. He demonstrated this when he brought
the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. He danced in the procession bringing the ark in a
way Michal (David’s wife and Saul’s daughter) thought was “undignified.” David was
willing to be “undignified” because he saw that leading the people in their celebration
resulted in their giving him honor and allegiance. Michal seemed to look at the “king” as
one removed and separated from the people in lofty dignity. That was Saul’s way, not
David’s (2 Samuel 6:12-22).
Isn’t it interesting that people follow someone they identify with much more readily than
someone remote from them? The kids love it when Dad gets down and rolls with them
on the floor. The teens love it when the preacher steps down from his lofty pulpit and
gets tipped over in a canoe while on a wilderness trip with them. While these may be
“undignified” behaviors, they help the leader to “bond” with those whom he leads.
David was a leader, not a director. Had he been king when Goliath made his challenge,
he would have been in the battle, not in his tent waiting for a champion to appear.
Saul could have faced the giant, but he did not. This is typical of the two men’s
More people will follow when the leaders are out front working than when they are in a
room out back “making decisions.” And, the decisions made by leaders will be
implemented more readily when the leaders show the way, not just tell others the way
they want it done.
Once the young people in a congregation where I was preaching had a skating party
with youths from two other area churches. I attended as did one of our elders and the
preacher from one of the other churches. We all had a good time and decided to do it
again sometime soon. A few days later, we received an invitation to a “meeting” of the
elders and preachers of the three churches. The invitation came from the third church
(who had no elder or preacher at the skating party). They wanted to talk about the
skating party fellowships together. What they really wanted was to draw up a list of
“guidelines” to govern the party and any devotionals after it. The list (already prepared)
had to be accepted or they would have nothing to do with the proposed activity.
I may have been out of bounds, but I do not think I was, when I observed that what the
young people needed was guides, not guidelines. I said that if they would get involved
in these activities, , they would not have to depend on paper guidelines to ensure things
were done right.
Telling people what to do is not as effective as showing them what to do and how to do
it. Seeing leaders doing what they want you to do gives you more confidence in their
David never moved far from his origins as a shepherd. This colored his concept of God,
himself and his subjects. Psalm 23 shows how he saw the LORD as his own shepherd.
Psalm 78:70-72 shows that God made David His shepherd for the people, a place
David filled with both integrity and skill.
A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART
This is why David was called a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel13:14). He made
mistakes. He sinned. He did foolish things. But his integrity led him to admit these errors
and go on with the LORD’s help.
Saul could never bring himself to do this until he was, as it were, dragged kicking and
protesting to the point of making a grudging admission of his sin.(1 Samuel 15:13-25).
Contrast Saul’s effort to justify himself with David’s immediate contrition when Nathan
confronted him concerning his sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:13). This is why David
was a man of integrity. He admitted his mistakes and did not try to evade responsibility
for them. Few people are really accomplished in this fine art.
Leadership is not a matter of never being wrong, but of admitting your mistakes, taking
the consequences, and learning from them. God’s leaders are not perfect, but are
penitent when they sin. God’s leaders always recognize that they serve under Him and
WHO WILL YOU FOLLOW?
Every subsequent king of Judah and Israel followed the example of either Saul or
David. Some, like Saul, viewed themselves as “divine right” kings with the people as
their personal kingdom. Others, like David, saw God as “The Great King” of Israel and
themselves as His vassal-kings. It was these who were most successful, for these were
the leaders who were first of all servants of God and of the people. Those who tried to
be “The Great King” themselves exercised authority and lorded it over the people – as
Jesus said the Gentile kings did.
Sadly, too many leaders are more like Saul than David. For them, leadership is a goal in
itself – not a means to a greater end. Like the politician whose main objective in office is
to be re-elected, this leader views himself as one to be served, not as one to be a
servant of God and of God’s people. God’s leaders follow and serve Him so they can
encourage others to do the same.
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