Saul: The Leader Who Was Insecure

Saul was the first king of Israel, and he is a good example of an insecure leader. To be insecure means to be uncertain or anxious about oneself and not confident. We see these traits in Saul from the onset. On the day he met with Samuel and was told he would be king he made excuses about his inability to lead because he was from the smallest tribe in Israel and his family happened to be the smallest in that tribe. Then when the day came that he would be presented to the people of Israel as their king he went into hiding so that when the people looked around for him, he was nowhere to be found and then it was revealed that he was hiding himself among the equipment. These two scenarios show a sign of a lack of confidence in Saul.
An insecure leader does not do what is right but what is popular; he leaves the good that he knows he should do and does what will make the people sing his praise even when it is wrong, because he is concerned with how people perceive him and always wants to look good before people. Saul was such a leader; he once admitted to Samuel, “I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” Saul was always concerned about how the people saw him and whether he had acceptance with them or not. This in itself is not a bad thing, but if it goes against what a leader knows to be the right thing to do, then it is wrong. When Samuel told Saul that the Lord had torn the kingdom of Israel from him and given it to a neighbour better than he, Saul’s response reveals his insecurity and need to look good before the people. He said, “I have sinned; yet honour me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel…” Being honoured before the people was for him more important than the fact that he had failed God who appointed him as a leader of His people and that he had failed in his duties as a leader to the people.
An insecure leader makes excuses to cover his wrong deeds; he fails to take responsibility for the things he allows to happen and shifts blames very easily. Saul was such a leader, when Samuel confronted him because he had failed to destroy the Amalekites completely; this is Saul’s response to Samuel, “I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” He was very quick to shift the blame to the people forgetting that as leader he was responsible for the actions of the people. He also failed to accept that his insecurities drove him to permit the people to act contrary to the instructions given to him.
Insecure leaders are very anxious people; once Saul and his army were at Gilgal waiting for Samuel to come and sacrifice the burnt offering to God. As they waited, the people out of fear began to withdraw from him and so Saul took the burnt offering and sacrificed it himself. As soon as he was done, Samuel showed up. When Saul was confronted by Samuel, rather than admit his error and ask for forgiveness he again began to make excuses. From the excuses he made, we see his lack of confidence and anxiety. He said to Samuel, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said the Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord. Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” Anxiety drove Saul to take the place of the priest and offer a burnt sacrifice to the Lord an action which he knew was wrong.
An insecure leader is a destructive person; Saul’s insecurity reached its peak the day the women sang their song saying, “Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands.” He was angry and displeased at the saying; he became uncertain of the future and thought, “now what more can he have but the kingdom?” So the next day, as David played the instrument for him, he hurled a spear at the young innocent lad in an attempt to kill him because he feared he would lose the throne to him.
Saul’s insecurities caused him to lose his place as leader of God’s people Israel. It also caused him to be an ineffective leader because the later part of his years as king he left national issues that he should have been addressing and chased David all over Israel seeking to kill him. Eventually, he met his death and alongside him died his children who would have reigned in his stead. His story is a good example of what can happen when a people are led by an insecure leader.
Eturuvie Erebor
Taking-the-Lead Seminars.

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