What the Statesman Can Learn from King David’s Insights on Governing

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King David provides us with invaluable perspective when it comes to governing a nation within God’s current-day system.

Who is David? Is he King? Or is he the man who loved God as much as any man who ever walked on this earth? He is both.

Is he the one who sinned so badly that, even though he had hundreds of wives and mistresses, he desired another man’s wife, causing him to be responsible for that man’s death? Or is he the one who wrote the most beautiful love songs to our unseen Creator? He is both.

In spite of his human shortcomings, which he shares with all humanity, we are told:

David reigned over all Israel, administering justice and righteousness for all his people. (2 Samuel 8:15)

As we consider this King, let us reflect on his conclusions at the end of his life as expressed in 2 Samuel 23:1-4:

These are the last words of David: The declaration of David son of Jesse, the declaration of the man raised on high, the one anointed by the God of Jacob, the favorite singer of Israel: The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me, His word was on my tongue. The God of Israel spoke; the Rock of Israel said to me, “The one who rules the people with justice, who rules in the fear of God, is like the morning light when the sun rises on a cloudless morning, the glisten of rain on sprouting grass.”

I believe every leader should listen to David’s insights. King David has completed his governing responsibility which spanned 40 years. With his faults, he sought to walk closely with his God and, in the process, perhaps discerned the mind of God for those governing more than any other human being. Hence, his conviction of what his Master requires of those who serve in this position is worth noting:

“The one who rules the people with justice, who rules in the fear of God.”

David understood the challenges that the administrator of a nation faces, based upon his experience of attempting to walk with God and to shepherd his people. He understood the seduction to power. He understood what it is to give in to that seduction which power affords. He understood what it is to betray the trust God gave him, and he understood God’s grace extended toward him to forgive him and restore him to his original heart’s desire to be God’s servant.

David understood what God’s perfect choice of a ruler would be like. I believe he looked forward to the day when that would become a reality through Jesus’ eventual reign. In the meantime, while waiting for that perfect day, he understood what God intends for our nations today:

“The one who rules the people with justice, who rules in the fear of God.”

God has designed Government in such a way that imperfect man can effectively administer justice to imperfect humanity. David had two natures, like every governing official and like every human being. His failure came when he did not hold his selfish nature in check. Perhaps, he made the error of attempting to do this in his own strength. The Apostle Paul tells us clearly in Romans 8:12- 13:

So then, brothers, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

We must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to have victory over our selfish nature. We even need God’s power to obey Him. Let us seek God’s help daily in becoming the leader that God intends for our people:

“The one who rules the people with justice, who rules in the fear of God.”

Please know of my desire to support you in this journey. You and I are both human beings who stumble. However, I am confident that our Creator and Lord desires for you to be:

“The one who rules the people with justice, who rules in the fear of God.”