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There is so much that could be said about these chapters. I’ve highlighted lots of bits as I’ve been reading through, but this was the one that finally jumped out, and particularly the second half: “accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.”

I love that. I love how God doesn’t just anoint and appoint great leaders, but he appoints great followers, too.

I’ve had the joy and privilege of knowing, following and serving some amazing people in my time, and I’ve seen what a difference it makes to their lives, work and ministries when they are surrounded and supported by great people – and when they use those people well.

I love the term ‘valiant’ in this snippet, too. Of course, in this context – where kingdoms were being continually contested and battles for territory were the norm – it was particularly important that a king’s inner circle should be valiant, but even now I think there is a need for those around our politicians, business leaders and church leaders to be valiant. Our leaders are not well-served by ‘yes-men’, but need people who are not afraid to challenge them when necessary – in love, with wisdom and with a desire to build up and not destroy.

It is a calling as high and a task as vital as that of a leader – let’s not despise it.