READ: 1 Samuel 10-12, Psalm 84, John 16, Ephesians 5
Marriages, churches, mission agencies, and nations all ultimately end up with the leadership they deserve. We love to blame our leaders for the plight of our institutions while failing to recognize that we are our own leaders – the elected official is just a reflection of the collective moral standing. In the world, leaders primarily follow. A wayward people gets (and deserves) a corrupt leader. We cannot blame wicked leaders for the people’s plight – he or she is usually merely an elevated and obvious reflection of the whole.
In Jesus, leadership selection is more about God than man. Human leadership selects the one who best reflects the human group. In spiritual leadership God selects the unexpected person and shapes him or her to reflect the divine nature. God puts the most unlikely in authority and then gives them what they need to lead well. If you have been chosen to lead (through a God-honoring process), it is probably because you have a significant liability and the Lord desires to reveal His greatness through your smallness. Leadership appointment should always humble us.
Saul certainly had some charisma and leadership qualities, most of which seemed to be external (tall, strong, and handsome), yet he had obvious insecurities that led him to hide in the baggage, intimidated at the thought of responsibility. Samuel prophesied to Saul that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him and that he would be turned into another man, that God would be with him (1 Sam. 10:6-7). God indeed give Saul another heart, the Spirit did indeed descend on him, Saul did graciously lead a glad people (11:15), and God was (at the beginning) glorified. There is an anointing for leadership. When God chooses a leader, He chooses one with evident flaws so that His grace might be just as evident, and so that all the glory would go to God.
When leaders forget that their unworthiness is covered by God’s provision, their insecurities get the better of them and they lash out at those around them who seem threatening. Saul would fall into this pit concerning David. Saul did not remember that he was chosen largely because he was incapable. It is our inadequacies which most clearly display the glory of God through His Spirit. Let us not forget that insufficiency is our greatest qualification.