Most of us would probably agree that one of the more powerful qualities of an effective leader is leading by example. This is true whether it is parents with children, grandparents with grandchildren, teachers with students, political leaders with citizens, or if it is disciples making disciples.  In today’s passage in I Chron. 29, we can see some ways the ailing and elderly King David, nearing the very end of his reign, was still strongly leading by example.  As we know, David was certainly not perfect and had failed in some big ways in his life, but it is also obvious his heart was set on the Lord.  Here he was addressing a large assembly of people—including leaders, military commanders, and various officials of the kingdom.  This was a momentous time of “transition of power” to his son Solomon, who had been designated by God as the next king, and you can be sure these people were all ears, hanging on to his every word.  How might these leaders have been impacted by example of their king? How was David leading by example in this passage?

1) Clearly David led by example in the way he personally contributed to the materials for building the temple—above and beyond what had already been collected.  His was no skimpy donation either!—he gave lavish amounts of gold and silver out of his own personal treasure.   And he did this from a heart that delighted (v 3) in the Lord.  We know David’s example was a very powerful one because when David invited the people to give as well, verse 9 says they gave willingly and wholeheartedly, just as their king had done.

2) David modeled a genuinely thankful heart.  This was evident in the joy he expressed in the people’s willing contributions to the temple, and it was particularly evident in his public prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God.
3) Finally, David led by example in the way he prayed for his people and for his successor, his son Solomon.  He didn’t ask God to make the nation prosperous with a thriving economy, or to make his son a famous king; instead David asked God to direct the people’s hearts to Him and to give Solomon a heart to keep His commands. What an example!

In one way or another every single one of us has an impact on others.  May we also, as David modeled, have hearts that are set on following God and may He help us lead by example.

by Marilyn Busenitz

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