THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
FALLEN BUT FAVORED
Today’s reading: Sirach 47:2-11
King David was a lecherous adulterer and heartless murderer,
but he was a man after God’s own heart. Huh? How can
those two facets be reconciled? We learn important lessons
about servant leaders.
first, and we know this too well, is that we are still sinful.
Even as we have turned away from wrongdoing and put our faith
in Jesus, we still sin. At times grievously. We might not
murder anyone, but we kill with our tongue. We might not have
sex outside marriage, but we lust with our eyes (Jesus says
if that is the case, then we have already committed adultery).
Now knowing the reality of being sinful is not license to
go ahead and sin. In fact, we are called to purity and holiness
of life. But we do fall.
God is merciful. When David repented, “the Lord forgave
him his sins” (v.11a). Not only that, the Lord “exalted
his strength forever” (v.11b). Why? David was God’s
loyal, zealous and bold warrior. When the whole Israelite
army was cringing in fear before Goliath, “as a youth
he struck down the giant and wiped out the people’s
disgrace” (v.4a). He fought for God and for God’s
people, and he won, restoring their dignity.
that, as king he tirelessly worked to establish and expand
God’s dominion through His chosen people Israel. “When
he received the royal crown, he battled and subdued the enemy
on every side.” (v.6b-7a). God calls us to servant leadership,
and we are to lead God’s troops into battle, to drive
out the hordes of the enemy and to establish God’s reign.
This is to be persistent and unrelenting, looking to establish
the victory that has already been won by Jesus. David “campaigned
against the hostile Philistines and shattered their power
till our own day.” (v.7b).
was David so consumed? “With his whole heart he loved
his Maker” (v.8b). And the Lord in turn looked to David
as a man after His own heart. Heart to heart, one in vision
and mission, zealous and committed, determined to establish
God’s reign. And David never failed to look to God for
His power and strength. In his many great military campaigns,
he never grabbed the glory for himself. “For he had
called upon the Most High God, who gave strength to his right
arm to defeat the skilled warrior and establish the might
of his people.” (v.5).
love of David for God was reflected in his own spirituality
(remember how even as we are totally in love with the Lord,
we still commit sin). He praised and thanked God for his successes.
“With his every deed he offered thanks to God Most High,
in words of praise.” (v.8a). He kept the people focused
on God and not on himself. Even as “the women sang his
praises and honored him for ‘the tens of thousands,’”
(v.6a), David in turn “daily had (God’s) praises
sung” (v.9a). He brought the people to worship and enhanced
the worship of the people. “He added beauty to the feasts
and solemnized the seasons of each year with string music
before the altar, providing sweet melody for the psalms so
that when the Holy Name was praised, before daybreak the sanctuary
would resound.” (v.10,9b).
fact, David composed many psalms. He was both warrior and
worshiper. No wonder he was a man after God’s own heart.
No wonder God favored him. For both God and people, “like
the choice fat of sacred offerings, so was David in Israel.”
God’s holy warriors, we are fallen but favored. God
be praised always.