Master versus Innovative Subordinate: Saul Tries to Kill David

Saul Tries to Kill David: Jealous and Afraid


How Should a Master and an Innovative Subordinate Relate? Interactions between Saul and David after David killed Goliath indicate useful answers. David remained in Saul’s service after killing Goliath and was threatened by Saul because Saul was jealous and afraid of him. Saul was jealous of David because he killed Goliath and led Israel to victory over the Philistines at a time that Saul, the king, was visibly too frightened to try. He was afraid of David because God was with David and had left Saul, and David was successful and impressed the people of Israel in everything he did. Therefore, Saul, the master, felt out-performed by his subordinate, David, and reacted by threatening to kill him.

Master versus Innovative Subordinate

Their interactions provide opportunity for us to examine relationships between a master and an innovative subordinate. Based on our previous bible study HERE (Perfect Heart for Strategic Alliance), we learn that a master faced with an innovative subordinate has a better chance of benefiting from the innovation by adopting the “wisdom of the second boat” [Luke 5:1–10]. That is, the master should follow in good faith, close enough to hear any call for assistance but far enough to not interfere. A master that does this places him or her self in a good position to benefit immensely from the innovation.

The subordinate should introduce the innovation with humility, seek collaboration with others including higher authority, but must retain leadership of the innovation. In the event of a persistent threat, he/she should seek alternative ways to grow the innovation, including, where necessary, escaping like David.

More Information

Please join us as we examine more details of these David-Saul interactions and their implications for relationships between a master and an innovative subordinate.  You can play the video or audio files or download the audio or pdf files.



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