1 Samuel
  • No organization, no family or no country can ever be great without great leadership. The  question is how do you get great leadership?
  • Israel faced that question after the time of the Judges seemed to fail the country.  The Philistines had migrated into the region about the same time as the Hebrews and had become a perpetual problem to Israel.
  • The Philistines continually pressured the nation of Israel for more territory and pushed their way into the mountains of Israel.
  • The Philistines had superior weapons and chariots. The Philistines appear to be less populous than Israel, but better organized.
  • Israel had no central government or regular army.  Israel was still a loose confederation of tribes that called on each other in times of crisis.  The nation had worked that way for several hundred years.  Change was needed but change is sometimes difficult.
  • Into this unfolding crisis, God gives us the book of Samuel.  Samuel is about three leaders.  Two of these leaders were truly great and took the nation to it’s zenith.  The third leader proved to eventually be an abject failure.
  • Surprisingly, the book opens with a family crisis.  This is really what Israel was facing as well, a family crisis, God’s family.
  • Two wives had a long standing bitter rivalry and quarrel.  Hannah, the barren wife turns to God in her desperate need, and God provides one of Israel’s all time greatest leaders. The result of her turning to God produces the man Samuel, after whom the book is named.
  • Samuel grew into one of the greatest leaders Israel was to know.  He served in four capacities.
  1. Prophet
  2. Judge
  3. Priest
  4. Military leader
  • Samuel chose the first two kings of Israel. His strong personality is the thread of the book of 1 Samuel even though he officially retires after chapter 15.
  • Samuel’s mother’s struggles are the struggles of Israel in miniature.  Her frustration forced her to look to God for an answer.
  • Her son did not follow his father into the field as a farmer, but he was raised in the temple to become God’s answer to Israel’s frustration with the nations around them.
  • Hannah’s story lets us know that leaders do not always come from regular channels. Ordinarily Eli’s corrupt sons would have carried on national leadership.
  • Instead, God blessed a woman who turned to him for help.  To me, this is the theme of the entire book of 1 Samuel.
  • Turning to God for instructions in every situation of life is the path to success.
  • Saul failed because he did not obey God and did not seek God.
  • David was magnificent.  Why?  There was only one reason.  David depended on God for everything and every decision.
  • In chapter 2, verse 30, God declares “Them that honour me I will Honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed”.
  • Samuel never forgot that lesson.  He anointed Saul as the first King, but stripped him of that position when Saul did not depend on God and obey God.
  • Samuel passed over more impressive men to anoint David because he sensed David would seek God and obey God.
  • Under David the nation achieves world greatness.  The only quality David had that Saul did not have, was his willingness to seek God and God’s direction.
  • David persistently turned to God for his direction.
  • The best leadership ultimately belongs to God!
  • It was God, not David, that took Israel from a disjointed, unorganized group of 12 tribes into the greatest nation on the face of the earth.
  • What do you want in life?  How do you achieve that goal?  May I recommend the path of David?
Learn the simple lesson that true leadership is simply following directions.

David followed God’s directions all the way to greatness.

And this my friends was David’s path to greatness.
Thanks for reading today.