Go Ye Therefore

The Law of the Lid – Part 1

Saul and David’s Success (1 Samuel 17:24-40)

When Goliath taunted the armies of Israel, the frightened Hebrew soldiers forgot how to fight. They lacked a leader who could provide a strategy for success.

Saul was a very experienced soldier, but he cowered in fear with his men. David, on the other hand, sized up the situation, determined his weapon (a sling and five smooth stones) and ran toward Goliath.

Saul suffered under a lid of fear, paralyzed from leading. David labored under no such lid. Once he conquered the giant, the Israelite armies joined him to finish off the Philistines.

Saul vs. David (2 Samuel 5:1-4)

Success lies within the reach of nearly everyone. But personal success without leadership ability brings only limited effectiveness, achieving only a fraction of what might have occurred with good leadership. The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be.

Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. The lower an individual’s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The higher the leadership, the greater the effectiveness. Your leadership ability—for better or worse—always determines your effectiveness and potential impact of your organization. To reach the highest level of effectiveness, you have to raise the lid on your leadership ability.

Why did Saul fail as Israel’s king, while David succeeded? The answer can be found in the Law of the Lid: Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness. While David lifted many lids, Saul’s attitude kept the lid clamped down firmly on his leadership. Take a look at the similar paths the men traveled:

  1. Both received counsel from godly men. Samuel, the last judge of Israel, anointed both men. And both received the benefit of godly counsel—Saul from Samuel, and David from Samuel and later Nathan the prophet.
  2. Both faced great challenges. Every leader faces obstacles, test, and trials. Saul and David sometimes faced the same ones.
  3. Both had the choice to change and grow. Saul and David reacted very differently when confronted with their shortcomings. When Samuel rebuked Saul for making an unauthorized burnt offering to God, the king spoke not a whisper of sorrow or repentance. Evidently Saul kept on the same course. David possessed an entirely different kind of heart. When Nathan confronted the king after the sordid incident with Bathsheba, David broke down and sorrowfully repented.

Join me next time for part 2 of The Law of the Lid.