Kings are the earthly rulers over the people in their kingdoms. During the time of the kings in Israel’s history, there were a few who led well, but many who did not. God gave them clear instructions on how to live their lives and lead their people. When they led in accordance to God’s Word and His ways, there was peace and prosperity in the land. When they led contrary to God’s Word, there was turmoil, oppression and captivity.
King David was a man after God’s own heart. He was not a perfect man (think: Bathsheba!) but he was a humble, courageous, repentant leader who trusted in God and sought to follow the Lord at all times. Even when he stumbled, he got back up, asked the Lord for forgiveness, and began to walk closely with the Lord again and to lead the people to do the same.
The psalmist in Psalm 78 describes King David as a servant, chosen by God to be the king. In David’s earlier years he was a shepherd, and many of the skills vital to a shepherd made David a great king. But David’s pure heart is what set him apart as not only a political leader but also a spiritual leader among the people.
70 He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds;
71 He brought him from tending ewes to be shepherd over His people Jacob— over Israel, His inheritance.
72 He shepherded them with a pure heart and guided them with his skillful hands.
Throughout his time as king, David continued to learn to walk with God and to lead the people to walk with God. Late in life, when he was about to hand over the crown to his son Solomon, David gave his son the following instructions.
1 Kings 2:1-4
1 As the time approached for David to die, he instructed his son Solomon, 2 “As for me, I am going the way of all of the earth. Be strong and be courageous like a man, 3 and keep your obligation to the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees. This is written in the law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn, 4 and so that the LORD will carry out His promise that He made to me: ‘If your sons are careful to walk faithfully before Me with their whole mind and heart, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’
Some important points that David told Solomon:
- Be strong and courageous
- Keep your obligation to the Lord to walk in His ways and to keep His commands
- God’s Word is written down
- To have success, live and lead in line with God’s Word
- The Lord will keep His promises
Oh today, we pray for the leaders of our land to live and lead in accordance with God’s Word. We first look to ourselves to examine our own lives, to make sure that we are living and leading in accordance with God’s Word. And as we pray for our leaders in every arena of life — spiritual leaders, government leaders, and others — we pray that they live and lead in accordance with God’s Word.
Our trust is in our Sovereign Lord. He is our Eternal King. Jesus is THE Righteous King of Kings. If you put your trust in any man or woman, they may let you down. Jesus never will. His way is always the best way, the right way. Trust in Him and follow Him.