I have already shared my favorite Bible verses, and this week I wanted to share my favorite story from the Old Testament. The Bible, and especially the Old Testament, has a lot of amazing stories. Mine isn’t shocking or anything, it is about David. I really like the story of David, and I think the recent attempts to portray the life of David on TV have fallen short because the character of David is misunderstood. Modern attempts always overplay the “rivalry” between Saul and David. They also usually show David as young and naive. What they miss is that David was a man who inspired loyalty from those around him: he was deeply devoted to God, a strong friend, a courageous warrior, a romantic with a big heart, and a gifted musician and poet.
David’s ability to inspire those around him is highlighted in 2 Samuel 23:8-39, where a list of David’s Mighty Men is given. This list is given at the end of David’s life, and it makes you want to go back and re-read the whole story of David again. At the end of David’s life the tribes are united, and many of the covenant promises God gave to Abraham have been fulfilled. These big moments in history were done by God through the devoted leadership of David and a group of his Mighty Men – courageous warriors who risked it all to follow their God and king.
For me it is a reminder to not try to lead alone. When leadership is firing on all cylinders I have a group of mighty warriors around me – gifted leaders who are loyal to Christ and passionate about a shared Vision. History may remember David more than the mighty warriors, but David cared more about his men than his own life (see 2 Samuel 23:17). David deeply loved them, and they were incredibly loyal to him, and together they changed the world.
I have shared these stories with everyone from pastors to business leaders to junior high students. Every leader needs to know how to inspire loyalty, and how to deeply love people while still pursuing God’s goals. This is why I love the story of David, and especially the Mighty Men.
How about you? What is your favorite Old Testament story, and why?