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A leader after God’s own heart


Etim Ekong

Our focus will be on 1 Samuel 16:12b -13. “And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him; for this is the one. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” What we have to note in this Text is that a leader after God’s own heart is a one, whose election or appointment into office is acceptable to God. Such leader is not elected or appointed based on human wisdom. Saul was tall and handsome; he was an impressive looking man. Samuel might have been trying to find someone who looked like Saul to be Israel’s next king.

Samuel looked at Eliab and said, “Surely, the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:6-7).

A leader after God’s own heart must be a leader filled with the Holy Spirit. He must be a leader with a tenderness of spirit. This is the type of leader we need in Nigeria today; a leader that is not tribalistic or a religious bigot. Such leader must be courageous and full of wisdom. He must be faithful, even in small things. He must live his or her life to please God and not human beings. He must not be hard and self-serving. He must not be a pretender (hypocrite).

God commanded King Saul to destroy the Amalekites and everything they owned – nothing was to be spared. Saul was greedy. He disobeyed God by sparing Agag, King of the Amalekites, and took for himself the best of their livestock. A leader who is greedy is not fit to rule his people. But a leader after God’s own heart commits himself or herself to obeying the commands of God. When Samuel confronted Saul about his disobedience, he offered the lame excuse that he intended to sacrifice the livestock to the Lord. Sometimes, we commit sins and then think we can blindfold God with our gifts. “To obey is better than sacrifice…” (1Samuel 15:22-23). This led to Saul’s rejection.

When Saul was rejected, David was anointed to be the new king. The selection of David to be Israel’s king illustrates how God often disregards human customs and traditions to accomplish His purposes. By human standards, David, as the youngest son of Jesse, appeared least likely to be considered for a leadership position. But God saw the heart of this young man, and knew that His people needed a leader with a tender Spirit.

It is the same David who demonstrated his godly spirit through his willingness to take on Goliath, while the great warriors of Israel were hiding in their tent. (1Samuel 17:40-50). David, by God’s providence might have become a warrior, but gentleness was his defining trait. This is the type of leader we need in our Nation, irrespective of religious inclination.

Our leaders should stop misuse of power and authority given to them. Whatever position we hold, God is watching us. One day, we shall give an account. And one day, we shall leave that office. If you are a leader, what legacy will you leave behind? Posterity will use this to judge you. Are you a leader after God’s own heart?

In this article:
Etim Ekong
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