Thursday, July 27, 2006

Managing the underling Yes-Man, King David Style

History gives great examples of leaders and to what became of them based on how they acted. There is always a measuring point, however, between good leaders and evil leaders. Evil leaders cut the heads off of their critics. Good leaders listen to and consider what critics say. Torgo will contrast the style by two examples below, one of an evil leader, Pharaoh, and a good leader, King David.

Many today praise Pharaoh's great works in the sphinx and in the pyramids. On the backs of Israel were some of these great works made. Indeed, when Moses asked for freedom, Pharoah ordered the first born slain. One might say Pharaih was the ultimate autocrat. Indeed, they talk about the monuments, but nobody talks about Pharaoh's wisdom.

King David, one the other hand, is praised as the wisest of kings. He is the penultimate model, next to Jesus. One little story is the best to illustrate the point, however. David is progressing along the road back with some guards along his side. Saul is dead at this point. Following them is Semei, who is throwing stones at David, cursing him as they walk. The guards move in on David's sides. Semei is just going off on David calling him a man of blood and that he usurped his father's kingdom, etc. Eventually, one of the guards draws his sword saying to David, "who is this dead dog who curseth my lord? I shall go and cut off his head!" A perfect yes-man.

Some leaders would let the yes-man do his job. Not King David. David replies, "Let him alone and let him curse: for Yahweh hath bid him to curse David: and who is he that shall dare say, why hath he done so?" David understands the nature of power -- it comes from God. David eventually says, "let him alone that he may curse as the Lord hath bidden him. Perhaps the Lord may look upon my affliction, and the Lord may render me good for the cursing of this day."

David sees his power circumscribed by God. Note David's understanding of his place in society when he asks what it would mean to render responsibility back to God for exercising power and cutting off the guy's head. David understands there is accountability to the Lord for having such power.

The completion of the story is great: "And David and his men with him went by the way. And Semei by the hill's side went over against him, cursing, and casting stones at him, and scattering earth." Semei was going on and on, yet David withheld the hand of his aggravated yes-man guard. (1 Kings 31).

King David had no problem chopping a head off when warranted (when God told him to deliver them from an enemy), however. He slew the Phillistine giant by chopping off his head. (1 Kings 17).

Just to hammer the point in, consider Peter drawing his sword and cutting the temple guard. Jesus rebuked him for such and healed the servant.

Taming the yes man seems to be a consistent quality of our best leaders. Letting them lash out and kill critics is a mark of evil leaders. Indeed, Semei was "Against the mission" of David. Semei thought David should not be king at all.

And yet David did not destroy Semei even though he knew Semei was incorrect.

Imagine how worse it would be for a leader who ordered the smoting of a critic who was correct. For that, Torgo hopes no one he knows will be held accountable, for it surely will be a hefty price.

For a self-study exercise, see FUMARE: MUST READ: The Vision of AMSL's Anointed

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