By Matthew Black, pastor
Bible Text: 2 Samuel 4-5
Preached on: Sunday, February 1, 2009 6pm
Tabernacle Baptist Church
7020 Barrington Road
Hanover Park, Illinois 60133
Phone: (630) 289-4110
Introduction: Open your Bible to 2 Samuel 4-5. We are going to be looking at both chapters 4-5. The title of the message is “Servant Leadership”.
I. Look first at way of Selfish Leadership: Force. Ambition. Deceit. Here in 2 Samuel 4, we have leadership in the world’s style. Last time we were together, we saw how Joab killed Abner. Remember Abner was Ishbosheth’s general. Ishbosheth was the puppet king. Abner was the real power.
A. Trouble! We come to 2 Samuel 4:1 and read, “And when Saul’s son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled.” Abner was like the 4 star general. Now Ishbosheth had two other generals, like 1 star generals. Verse 2 says, “the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab”.
B. Treachery! In verses 5-6 we read that these two men “Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. 6 And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 7 For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night. 8 And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David to Hebron, and said to the king, Behold the head of Ishbosheth the son of Saul thine enemy, which sought thy life; and the LORD hath avenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed”. Now what did Rechab and Baanah expect for King Ishbosheth’s head?
C. Treasure! Reward! This is how the world’s leadership works. Spread a rumor about someone. Talk behind the back of someone you don’t like. They thought wrong. David will not be a leader like the world. He is all together different.
Verse 8-12, “And David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said unto them, As the LORD liveth, who hath redeemed my soul out of all adversity, 10 When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him in Ziklag, who thought that I would have given him a reward for his tidings: 11 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? 12 And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.”
II. Secondly, look at the way of Servant Leadership. Look a 2 Samuel 4:1-4 to see how different David is from really any other king of Israel before or since. He is more of a Shepherd King. He is a servant.
A. David would not lead through force, but through FEEDING. He would lead them by serving them and feeding them, NOT BY FORCE!
He would “feed” his people and lead them as a captain through his service.2 Samuel 5:1-4, “Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. 2 Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.”
David’s goal was not to FORCE their loyalty. That was Ishbosheth’s method. David wanted to FEED their soul. Any good leader is not going to control you but allow the Spirit of God to convert you and allow Him to control you. It is easier to control people than to convert them!! A good shepherd is not one that will control the people but gently lead them to the shepherd to convert them! I want Jesus to control you, because I am prone to lead you astray!
Application: You know you are a leader, no matter what capacity you are in. Some one at all times is watching you. You are leading people in one direction or the other. What is your leadership style: forcing or feeding? …in the home, on the job, in the church? We are called to speak with great respect and reverence for all people. David one the heart of every person because he never talked down to any one. He always respected the least to the greatest.
1. Personal Example: the golden rule. I have seen massive family trees on both sides of my wife’s family—at least eight generations of godliness. There’s probably at least 6 or more generations on the other side of her family.
I believe I know the key to godliness in those families. The way Jill was raised, was by the golden rule which fulfills the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” People will not listen to you until they know you are genuinely committed to them. This is the law of love. You must respect them and sacrifice for them. This is the key to any kind of leadership, but it begins in the home.
Clarification: This does not in any way that you are a door mat. You are firm as iron in your principles. The parent is in absolute control of the home. In the home, children obey immediately, completely, and with a happy attitude. Your ultimate goal is not to FORCE behavior, but to FEED the soul. Now hear me, if children won’t comply, then you will have to FORCE behavior. They must obey. Yet mere obedience is not the ultimate goal—it is obedience from the heart.
Explanation: Do you like to be served? Serve others. The old saying goes: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. The key to mentoring your children, your co-workers, or those you have influence over is to live out love for that person. Never talk down or put down.
2. Biblical Example: Jesus put it this way. The apostle James, who was an early martyr, and John, the apostle came to Jesus, wanting to be first in the Kingdom, and in Matthew 20:21 she says to Jesus, “Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.”
He uses their ambition to make a point in Matthew 20:25-28, “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
3. David’s Example: David was a King who would FEED, not FORCE his people. I want to show you how David later on would demonstrate this principle of servant leadership in dramatic fashion. Here we have a son of Jonathan mentioned. I don’t want to skip over this. Verse 4, “And Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.” Here Ishbosheth is murdered, and the only grandson of Saul left is a cripple by the name of Mephibosheth. You would think he would also get swept up in the commotion. But as always God remembers those who are forgotten. Out of all of Saul’s seed, God chooses the least of all of them to sit at the King’s table. David wants to remember his covenant with Jonathan.
Application: We are all Mephibosheths here today.
a. God loves us with an everlasting love. He says to his people, Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
b. God elects us for His Name’s sake. God said to his people of old in Isaiah 48:9, “For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. 10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. 11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.” It is the same with you and me. God will save us, not because we deserve it, but for His name’s sake he will save us and sanctify us. He’s given us “a name that is above all names that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!” (Philippians 2:7ff).
There was nothing worthy in Mephibosheth, and there is nothing worthy in us. It was only that the King had made a covenant. And our Lord and king made a covenant with the Father before the world began. He says in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” And then in verse 39, “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” Christ is a merciful King. He is like David. He had the power to destroy the line of Saul and Jonathan. Our Lord has the power to destroy all of Adam’s race. But instead, He brings us into His own family!
III. Let’s close by considering Practical ideas for servant leadership. How can you be a servant-leader?
1. First, you must be willing to do undesirable work for the sake of others. John 13:3-5, “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”
2. Second, in order to be a servant leader, you must be aquainted with the greatest Servant of all, the Lord Jesus Christ. By serving others, you are imitating Him who was a Servant to all of us. Matthew 20:27-28, “whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” We need to serve others as if we are serving Christ.
3. Third, remember attitude is everything in service. We need to serve others with gladness, not grudgingly, because we are called to “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).
4. Fourth, you don’t need to be gifted or have any experience whatsoever. You simply need to be available for God to use you. You simply need to “present yourself a living sacrifice”. Put yourself on the altar (Romans 12:1-2).
Conclusion: So if I could put an ad i for a servant leader it would be this:
“HELP WANTED: SERVANT--Someone to do often undesirable work for the sake of others. He or she needs strong sense of God's love and true compassion for others. He or she must be personally acquainted with greatest Servant of all in order to continue his training. Work requires being on call 24 hours a day to meet needs of family, friends and even strangers. Must be willing to give up his rights--no experience necessary--job begins today, right where you are.”
What kind of leader are you? The greatest way up is down! Get down and meet God on your knees. Get down from where ever you are and serve others! If you are a David here tonight, then step up and serve. If you are an Ishbosheth, then heed his failure, and repent, and become a David tonight!