King David was a unifier. He took people that were territorial and possessive of their own tribes and unified them into the strong nation of Israel.
The way he responded to the murders of Saul, Abner, and Ish-Boseth prompted this response: “All the people took note and were pleased; indeed, everything that the king did pleased them. So on that day all the people there and all Israel knew that the king had no part in the murder of Abner son of Ner” (2 Samuel 3:36-37).
The leaders of Israel’s various tribes then followed the lead of Abner—“All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron” and “all the elders of Israel” joined with David (5:1, 3).
David accepted all of this in confident humility. He knew that it wasn’t his doing but God’s. He made sure to stay reliant on God (5:19, 23), keeping in mind that he was leading to win victories for all Israel: “Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over [all] Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel” (5:12).
Result: “[David] became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him” (v. 10).
God delights to empower leaders who have a humble heart to unify God’s people. God will let self-made leaders struggle in their own ability, but He will unleash all His resources to help the humble, God-dependent leader.
These God-empowered leaders are the only ones who can bring lasting unity.
Leading on my own strength: Impossible.
Leading in God’s strength: Unstoppable!