Formations 01.29.2023: Israel’s King

1 Chronicles 11:1-9

In this passage, we see the regal David coming into his reign as Israel’s king. He is a strong, popular, comforting leader who makes his people feel safe. This man is charming and handsome but, more important, also worthy in his heart. The Almighty God has chosen him by looking not at the outside but at the inside (1 Sam 16:7).

David begins his reign by making a covenant with his people “before the LORD” (v. 3), and then he and his people take the city of Zion as their own. The power of this king is evident right from the start. Our text even says that “David became greater and greater.” Why? Because “the LORD of hosts was with him” (v. 9).

This is a good way to start a ministry: with confidence, leadership, and faith in the Lord. No one would doubt David at this point. That will come later, when he falls victim to his human nature and makes some tragic decisions along the way. For now, though, he begins in the best way. The people can trust that God has their well-being in mind because they can see evidence of this in David’s leadership.

May we start ministries with the same level of courage and confidence. May we assess the needs of the people we are to serve and follow God’s guidance in how to lead them. May we do everything “before the LORD,” with nothing to hide. May we remember that God is with us and strive to follow God’s direction in all that we do.


• Can you think of church leaders or other kinds of leaders who started out the way David does in our passage—with confidence, power, and faith?
• Why is it important to start strong when we begin serving in a ministry?
• What does it mean to do something “before the LORD”? How can we maintain a sense of integrity before God and the people we serve?
• What are some steps we can take to maintain honest leadership and avoid the pitfalls of our human nature?
• When we fail, what can we do to get back on the right path and remember that God is with us?

Kelley Land, a graduate of Mercer University, has been an assistant editor of Smyth & Helwys curriculum and books since 2001. In addition to this work, she is a freelance editor for other publishers and authors. She also regularly volunteers for Jay’s HOPE, a nonprofit serving families of children with cancer. Kelley enjoys spending time with her teenage daughters, Samantha and Natalie, her husband John, and the family’s two dachshund mix pups, Luke and Leia. She likes supporting community theater productions and is often found playing board games with a group of rowdy friends. She loves Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who. And she writes middle grade and young adult fiction for the pure joy of it.


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