The Long-Term Power of Loyalty

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“But David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe.”

David had already been anointed as the next king. He had a word from God that he was going to be the one to replace Saul. At the moment, though, King Saul was intent on tracking David and his men down and killing them. At a crucial moment, it looked like God had given Saul into his hand. His men encouraged him, “Look what God has done! He has given your enemy into your hand to do with as you see fit.”

How easy it would have been to kill Saul in the darkness of that cave. David did not even have to do it himself. All he had to do was give the word and one of his men would have handled it for him. Was this really God giving Saul and the throne over to David?

It would have been so easy to justify it:

1. David had been anointed as the next king of Israel. It was his destiny.

2. David also had to think about his men. Saul wanted to kill them as well.

3. Saul had given David’s wife, Michal, to another man.

4. Saul had repeatedly lied to David and had personally tried to kill him on several occasions.

5. Saul had slaughtered an entire town that had provided assistance to David and his men.

At this crucial moment, however, David said, “I can’t raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed.” He understood that God had placed Saul on the throne and God would have to remove him. If David had taken the throne by violence, it is likely that his story would be much different. He might have even ended up being killed by one of his men at some point when they were disgruntled.

David demonstrated amazing self-control, wisdom, and loyalty here. No, Saul did not deserve his loyalty. This is an early example of the military maxim, “Salute the rank, not the man.” The man might not have deserved David’s loyalty or respect, but David still saw him as, “the Lord’s anointed.”

How are you at showing loyalty and respect to those God has placed over you, especially those who might not deserve it or maybe just a leader that you do not agree with?

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