KING DAVID’S TEAM BUILDING
Imagine yourself climbing over a rise and looking down at a lush, green valley. There are neat rows of pea plants—symmetrical rows that have been plowed carefully by a farmer. The air is cool and moist on this particular early morning, but the sun is creeping over the far hills. While you scan the fields below, you notice movement out of the corner of your eye. It’s off to your right. You see a man standing in the field with his sword drawn, fighting through a crowd of warriors. Many are lying at his feet, dying. It appears that a whole troop of Philistines is trying to maneuver toward him.
As you work your way down the hill and get closer to the action, you begin to wonder why the man hasn’t turned to run instead of staying there to fight against such seemingly impossible odds. You notice that his sword is swinging with such speed and ferocity that it’s a blur. His clothing and arms are red with blood. As you draw closer, you begin to realize that you have seen this man before. All of a sudden it dawns on you that he is one of King David’s men of valor, Shammah, the son of Agee!
In the following pages, I will share with you what I feel were the qualities that made King David’s team into mighty men of valor—true leaders in their time. We will be talking about Adino, Eleazar, Shammah, Josheb-Basshebeth, Benaiah, Uriah, Eliam, and his father, Ahithophel. These men caught the same vision David had for their lives and for all of Israel. They strengthened themselves together with him. They had little to offer to their king, but they did have a deep commitment to him. After all is said and done, it is not wealth that lasts after a man anyway; it is his reputation that continues to count. These men followed David because they knew he was a man of honor.
INTEGRITY AND UPRIGHTNESS
David wrote this prayer: “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait for You” (Ps. 25:21 NKJV). Another translation puts it this way, “Let integrity and uprightness be my bodyguards.”
Both David and Solomon speak of integrity in the Psalms and Proverbs no less than 11 times. Solomon says, “He who walks in integrity walks securely.” Webster defines integrity as “an unimpaired condition, soundness, being complete or undivided, honesty, incorruptibility.” The Hebrew word for “integrity” is translated as “soundness, simplicity, completeness or uprightness.” Integrity, therefore, is sincerity of heart and intention, truthfulness, uprightness, being sincere, honest, and pure of heart in all your intentions. What do you do when no one is watching? Can you say you do what is right all the time no matter what the cost might be? That is integrity! Is integrity just a quaint relic of earlier times, a time when things were less complicated and people trusted a man’s word as his bond? The integrity that David and Solomon valued so highly is as vital today as it was in ancient times.
To build a team like David did, we need a commitment to integrity which sets us apart as children of God.
Many people today are cynical, skeptical, and suspicious of institutions, and many times that skepticism has been earned. Television programs such as “60 Minutes,” “20/20,” “Primetime,” and others have made a franchise out of scandal. A commitment to integrity reflects God’s character to others. This is true because our God is a God of complete and perfect integrity! Numbers 23:19 (NIV) tells us that
“God is not man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
God always keeps His promises. This is an essential truth, because the entire Christian religion is based on faith in God and His promises. If you don’t walk in integrity you will never be secure, because you will always be worrying about covering your tracks, making sure your story is consistent, and making sure you didn’t leave any clues that would eventually find you out. Without integrity you will never build a team that will follow you. I still remember my father saying to me,
“Son, your word is the greatest asset you have. Don’t throw it away. If you tell a man you will be somewhere or do something for him and you shake hands on it, then be sure you keep that word, even if you have to walk over mountains and valleys to do it. Because your integrity and trust are at stake.”
-Attitudes of great leaders (Bringing down the giants in your life)