Psalm 25 is an acrostic Psalm which contains the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Oftentimes an acrostic would be used as a memory device much the same way we alliterate sermons today. In this psalm David spends time pouring out his heart in prayer. His first prayer is a prayer of dependence in verses 1-7. His second prayer is a prayer of forgiveness which is found in verse 11 and his third pray is a prayer for deliverance in verses 15-20. In these wonderful verses we also find great instruction on guidance. David speaks about how guidance is sought, how it is taught and even how guidance Is brought. But there is something else striking in Psalm 25 and that is the lesson of transparent leadership.
Every one of us could benefit from this Psalm learning that we should be genuine, real, and open about who you are, what you are going through, and who you will trust. There is no doubt that when David penned this Psalm he was in great distress and that he was feeling vulnerable. Many believe that is was written during the time David fled from his own son Absalom when Absalom had revolted against David. Others have believed perhaps this was the time when David was fleeing from Saul. Whichever the case we receive a first-hand account into David’s heart that is very transparent.
David was a “a man after God’s own heart.” He was a shepherd tending after his father's flock in his young years. He was a soldier fighting for and defending his beloved nation. He was a sovereign reigning in pomp, might and glory over the nation of Israel. He was a statesman who unified the people. But in this Psalm, we see him as a transparent leader as he bares his soul.
It is no different for you and I today, we need transparent leadership. Leadership that is strong, but is also sincere; Leadership that is powerful, but is also pure; Leadership that is visionary, but is also viable; Leadership that has conviction, but is also consistent; Leadership that is hyper, but is not hypocritical; Leadership that is advancing, but not advantage taking; Leadership that is loyal, but not lip service; Leadership that has genius, but is also genuine.
What are some of those characteristics of transparent leadership that David displayed?
Transparent Leadership Is Honest In Its Admission.
Read this psalm, and nowhere do you see David being courageous. You have to ask yourself is this the same David that killed a bear and a lion as a teenager with his bare hands? Could this be the same David who soundly defeated the giant Goliath? Could this be the David of whom the women sang, “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?” This psalm opens with David saying, “Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul." Here we find David is pouring his heart out! Yes, this is the same David. But this is a David who is honest in his admission!
He Is Honest In His Assessment Of His Self
David is in trouble. But, David is also concerned about his transgressions. Psalm 25:7; 11 “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD" "For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.”
The first step in being transparent is being honest about our sins, about our transgressions.
“The sins of my youth”. David is openly stating that there are some serious sins in his life that needed to be dealt with. All of us have the problem of unconfessed sins and uncontrolled sins. Proverbs 28:13 strictly warns us concerning the covering of sin. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh his sins shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 and in Genesis 8:21 we find out just how serious of a problem it is for all of us. In central part of that verse God comments on the state of man “…the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth;” Some of us might be tempted to say, Not me! But what about the following short list of perhaps unconfessed or uncontrolled sin in our lives:
Immaturity – some adults never grow out of their immature, childish ways.
Incorrigible – unruly, not easily controllable.
Implacable – a person not easily pleased.
Impatience – not waiting for God to work in lived.
Irritable – angry, mean spirited, downright ugly in spirit.
Immoral –lacking in integrity and morals, allowing flesh to control their life.
Insecurity – always suspicious; thinks people are always trying to do them in, constantly craving for attention.
Insolent – rude, condescending, and disrespectful.
He Is Honest Concerning The Afflictions Of His Soul
In verses 15-19 David tells us he is distressed, desperate, and in way over his head. He knows that without God he will not make it. Transparent leadership is honest in its assessment, but it is also humble in its approach.
Transparent Leadership Is Humble In Its Approach.
David is brought to the end of himself in this Psalm. I reminded of what the Lord said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 5:3) Someone who is poor in spirit is someone who is broken. It is an individual who is at the end of himself. Unfortunately, to many times we put ourselves in this place. When we are conceited, proud, and haughty, the Lord catches us off guard, and allows afflictions to come our way to teach us that we are nothing! “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5b) David teaches us:
We should learn to pray through humility (Vss. 1,2)
We should learn to be patient through humility (Vss. 3-5)
We should learn to be pliable through humility (Vss. 9,10)
We should look for pardon through humility (Vs. 11)
Lastly, we find that transparent leadership is heavenly in its ambition.
Transparent Leadership Is Heavenly In Its Ambition.
True transparent leadership is not humanistic, or dependent on self. True transparent leadership is heavenly in its ambition. To be heavenly is to get our attention, our focus, our ambition on the eternal and not the temporary.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and all his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2)
A Heavenly Ambition Is Concerned About The Safety Of His Soul (Vs. 1)
Worse than being in physical danger is to be in spiritual danger. David was in spiritual danger because of things that caught up with him. He is saying "don’t let me fall into the place where I am ashamed to come to you: to you alone I lift up my soul!"
A Heavenly Ambition Is Comforted About The Satisfying Of His Soul (Vss. 12-14)
A transparent leader is satisfied with where God leads him; how God leads him, and when God leads him.
A Heavenly Ambition Is Contented Concerning The Certainty Of His Soul (Vss. 20,21)
Real leadership is transparent. Transparency involves honesty, humility, and a heavenly mindedness. It's a leadership that is clearly motivated to glorify God, and that gives Him honor. May all the leadership team at this local New Testament church begin to lead with transparency.
- Pastor David Carroll, Senior Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Daniel 2: 46-49, 3:1 "Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret. Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king. Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon."
Though Nebuchadnezzar on many occasions witnessed the hand of God in miraculous ways, he seemed to immediately reject the Light he had been given. In the opening text above, Daniel was used by God to tell and interpret the dream God had caused the king to see. Through this we can take note of three actions that Nebuchadnezzar took:
1. He was humbled.
The Bible declares that Nebuchadnezzar “fell upon his face…” as he had seen the work of God thru Daniel.
2. He testified of God.
“The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings”
3. He erected a golden image.
“Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.”
The truth is many will see God’s hand but will not accept it or receive it (Romans 1:20), and because of that man is “without excuse.” Many will also testify of God but will not recognize Jesus Christ as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Matthew 7:21 tells us “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
Notice the connection between what we say and what we do. Nebuchadnezzar may have declared the name of God with his lips, but sometime after Daniel’s interpreting of the dream, Nebuchadnezzar built himself a grotesque image in spite of the Word of God. What does that mean for us who are saved? Well James 1: 22-24 tells us, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” In other words, we could say that idleness should not be the motto of the Christian worker. The Devil oftentimes moves in subtilty when Christians become idle or complacent. This has become real to us particularly in the Bus Ministry. James admonishes us however to “…be doers of the word…” A moving target is always harder to hit. Having great knowledge is not doing; Solomon was a great example attesting to that fact. Neither is remembering doing either. We must act in order to be a doer of the Word. So, what is the big deal with a little bit of idleness, some folding of the hands?
Idleness breeds discontentment, separation and forgetfulness.
The Bible tells us when we are not a doer of the Word, though the Word of God truly shows us who we are, (“…he beholdeth himself…” our sinfulness, our areas of struggle, our great needs) we walk away unchanged and deceived. “For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”
King David in his idleness, though he was at the peak of success fell headlong into the snare of the Devil because he forgot what manner of man he was. Though we boast of the Bus Ministry and Outreach ministries here at Sharon Baptist Church, it is not enough. We must be diligently laboring together for Jesus Christ. This requires us to do more than just boast, we must act.
Positively James gives us the remedy to idleness. First, we are to:
Look into the perfect law of liberty. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty…”
Yes, this requires you and I to be reminded often of who we are and what God has commissioned us to do. This is accomplished through prayer, fellowship, and the study of God’s Word. These three components are readily seen in the book of Acts among the early church.
Secondly, we are to
Continue therein. “…and continueth therein..”
That great connecting word ‘and’ reminds us of a continual exercising our gifts, talents and passion toward the work God has set before us. It is critical to our Christian health and particularly in the Bus Ministry for us to continue therein.
Well, what is the great result of all this? God tells us that “…this man shall be blessed in his deed.” What a wonderful truth for us to behold that the blessing of God’s favor can be upon our lives as we are doers of the Word. Of course, there are many unnamed blessings not mentioned in this phrase. We have divine protection by being a doer of the Word. We have access to unlimited resources by being a doer of the Word through our relationship and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. And lastly, we no doubt will have great opportunity set before us! Remember doers of the Word (1) avoid deception, (2) are reminded of who they are and what they are laboring for and lastly (3) doers of the Word are blessed in their deeds. Praise the Lord for his great goodness to us!
- Spencer Close, Bus Director, Sharon Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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