Righteous and Just Leadership (2 Samuel 15:4) - Radical
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Righteous and Just Leadership (2 Samuel 15:4)

“Then Absalom would say, ‘Oh, that I were judge in the land. Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me and I would give him justice.'”
– 2 Samuel 15:4

Now the context for this 2 Samuel 15:4 is a conspiracy from Absalom to take the kingdom from King David. But the reason I want to lead us to pray according to this verse in particular is because of the way God had set up the king to be the judge among His people, so that people would bring disputes to the king and the king would rule justly. That’s why Absalom says, “Oh, that I were judged in the land,” as king. “Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me and I would give him justice.”

God has designed leadership to be marked by justice and righteousness.

So putting aside for a moment, the fact that this is Absalom wanting to overtake the king and all that was wrong about that, and all that was wrong even in King David’s leadership at this point. See God’s design for the leader among his people to be just, and righteous, and to rule and judge disputes, and lead the people with justice and righteousness.

2 Samuel 15:4 Reminds Us of Gods’ Design for Leadership

Now, obviously things are different today, even among God’s people in the church. We are not a nation with a king in the same way that we see in the Old Testament. And we look around us in the world, and we see nations led by kings or presidents or dictators or prime ministers, in all kinds of different ways. But one of the places my mind goes when I think about God’s design here in His word for his people, specifically for a king, a leader, to carry out justice, I look around the world and we see so much injustice in leaders. Unrighteousness in leaders, in so many different spheres. Countries and nations, and in other ways, and doesn’t it make us all long for a king who is perfectly just? For a king who is perfectly right.

As we read through the Old Testament, we see the flaws and failures of kings. Ultimately, these stories point us to a longing inside of us for a good, perfect, righteous king, who will judge justly, who will dispense justice and wisdom. And the good news I want to remind you of today is for all who trust in Jesus, you know this king. You have access to this king every day, all day long. You have access to God, the king, to come before him at any time with anything. To spend time with Him, to hear from Him in His word, and to cry out for help, for justice, for mercy, for wisdom, in whatever you are facing.

This Verse Leads Us to Praise God

God, we praise you as the king. You are our king. We say that together in our hearts right now. God, you are a king. Jesus, you are our king, and we love you. We worship you. We are so glad you are the king, our king. God, we are so glad to be in your kingdom. And we praise you because you are perfectly just, you are perfectly righteous, you are perfectly wise. And we praise you for your promises to give us wisdom when we come to you. To help us live in righteousness. To help us do justice, according to your word. And to do what is right for others, according to your word.

So God, we pray that you would help us to know you more, to be long with you in prayer, in your word, and your worship. Praising you, thanking you, praying to you, walking with you. The fact that we have the privilege, even right now, of being with you, talking to you, hearing from you and your word as the king over all the world. To think that we have the opportunity, when we wake up in the morning every morning to get alone, going into our room, Matthew 6, close the door, pray to our father, the king of all, who is unseen, and to receive a reward from you in time with you. And then to walk with you all day long.

2 Samuel 15:4 Leads Us to Ask for Help from God

Yes, God, help us. Help us to walk with you as king all day long in our lives. And to worship you as king, in every facet of our lives and to live to make your worth as the king known among all the nations. Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done in our lives, our families, our churches, on the earth, as it is in heaven. We pray all of this in the name of Jesus, Our Lord, savior, and king. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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