Read 1 Chronicles 12
Focus on verse 38
The approximate total of the men who came to follow David and to make him king seems to be in the neighborhood of three hundred and forty thousand, all of whom are described as valiant and experienced warriors. With this many of Israel’s best warriors not serving in Saul’s army, perhaps it is not surprising that he was defeated by the Philistines on the mountains of Gilboa on that fateful day described two chapters ago.
It is apparent from this description that the tide of approval was in David’s favor. The people were determined to make David king, and it would seem that the majority of the military might in the land was prepared to enforce the idea if necessary. Verse 38 describes it this way, “All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with a whole heart to make David king over all Israel. Likewise, all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David king.” According to this description there is no one of any significance in the land who was against David being crowned as king.
This kind of approval rating gives David a pretty good chance of success, particularly if he rules wisely, which for the most part, he did. The final verse in the chapter describes what happens when a nation is united behind their leadership. Everyone willingly contributes to bring provisions for the party and they celebrate by eating and drinking for three days… and the final phrase gives the reason: “for there was joy in Israel”.
Great leadership brings joy to a nation, for the nation finds unity and purpose in following great leaders. David was a great leader, and his giftedness as a leader is contrasted by the leadership blunders that were made by Saul.
When leadership is weak, there is disunity and confusion in those who follow. When leadership is strong the people tend to be united and content.