Men always gravitate to leadership. It makes no difference whether that leadership is authentic or counterfeit, men will follow as long as it is leadership. Whether men realize it or not, they were born to lead. God created mankind to lead. It is a part of who they are. Both the man and the woman are drawn to leadership because they were designed with leadership in mind. God gave both of them dominion. Man is the only thing created that God shared leadership responsibility with.
The story is told of David, the second king of Israel, who was on the run from Saul. Saul was the first king of Israel but was rejected by God because of his rebellious spirit and unwillingness to obey the Word of the Lord. He had gathered a great number of men to join him in his pursuit of David. Saul was jealous of David’s popularity, but also realized that David was ordained to be the next king of Israel. This presented a personal problem for Saul since he was still the reigning king. Saul considered David a threat to his thrown and his disposition towards David was known by all who followed him. Saul’s intent was to kill David. David was an external threat to Saul, but the king would encounter a far greater problem within his own ranks.
The Bible confirms that leadership was a challenge for Saul. In fact, his own men were abandoning him. The men who were a part of the king’s army were leaving him to follow David, his accused enemy. 1 Chronicles, chapter 12 exposes this truth: “These were the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he was banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish (they were among the warriors who helped him in battle. They were armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows or to sling stones right-handed or left-handed; they were kinsmen of Saul from the tribe of Benjemin).” (1 Chron. 12:1-2) From this account, one might safely conclude that not only were these men soldiers that helped King Saul, they were also his kinsmen. They were family. But for some reason they left Saul, the king, to follow David who had been banished and was on the run.
It appears that Saul was the king, but David was the leader. Both men held leadership positions, but holding a leadership position does not necessarily make the one in the position a genuine leader.These men came to David looking for something they had not received from Saul. The account recorded in 1 Chron. 12 reveals a number of leadership characteristics that are important to all men. Here are two:
1. All men need to be affirmed.
The affirmation of a father or the covering of a father is so important. David was more than a king, he was also a shepherd. He was more than just a leader; he was a father as well.
2. David respected the men who came to him.
1 Chron. 12:17 confirms this fact. David went out personally to meet those men who had come to support him. The 18th verse says that David received them. It was personal with David. This same verse reveals that David made them leaders. How many men can make leaders out of other men?
This is the reason why so many men came to David. This is why so many men were drawn to him. In a fatherless age in which we are living, young men are looking for affirmation from any man who looks like a leader. In the past fathers were respected as men who make leaders out of their sons. It was older men that were looked up to as shepherds who could deposit into the lives of the youth and empower them to dream big and mature in ways that made their dreams come true. Genuine leaders, authentic fathers and wise and mature men are desperately needed today. We know that men will follow leadership, but let’s be sure they follow godly examples and men who have their best interest at heart.