David stood before Goliath in the name of the Lord God of Israel. His life is characterized by doing what is right for the nation as a whole. He fought against his people’s enemies. He governed them to bring about health and happiness for them all. Although he was not a perfect king, he was known as a man after God’s heart. His integrity of purpose made David a great leader.

Samson would make an interesting study of contrast to David. Samson fought God’s enemies, not to free his people, but take personal revenge against them. Jackman observes, “Samson is both the most powerful of the judges physically and the weakest morally. He does more singlehandedly than the others, but less for the nation as a whole. He is an individualist, but hardly a leader.”

The difference between David as a good leader and Samson as a bad leader might be described as follows: David in contrast to Samson was…

Self-reliant but not Self-sufficient
Energetic but not Self-seeking
Steadfast but not Stubborn
Tactful but not Timid
Serious but not Sullen
Loyal but not Sectarian
Unmovable but not Stationary
Gentle but not Hypersensitive
Tenderhearted but not Touchy
Conscientious but not a Perfectionist
Disciplined but not Demanding
Generous but not Gullible
Meek but not Weak
Humorous but not Hilarious
Friendly but not Familiar
Holy but not Holier-than-thou
Discerning but not Critical
Progressive but not Pretentious
The contrasts should be instructive for us.