April 13, 2020
We know little about honoring our leaders for there is a national spirit of cynicism and dishonor among us toward them. We are not better for it. We would be wise to learn from a young man named David.
David had been anointed by God as king to take Saul’s place, for Saul had disobeyed the Lord. But then an amazing thing happened: Saul became jealous of God’s favor on David and began to try to kill young David. He hurled a spear against him. He chased him through the Judean wilderness like an animal of prey. He did everything that should have made David hate him. A lesser man would have done so.
But in all of these horrendous days, as David was running and hiding, he did not dishonor Saul. In fact, when he had the chance to easily take Saul’s life, he refused to do it. He would not lift his hand against God’s anointed, but he simply left his case in the hands of God, believing that God would make it right in the proper time.
When an Amalekite soldier came, telling David that he had finalized the killing of Saul upon Saul’s dying request, David said this:
Then David said, “How is it you were not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” (2 Samuel 2:14)
David had the man slain who slew Saul. And then, he sang a song honoring the king and his son Jonathan.
“Your beauty, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How have the mighty fallen” … Saul and Jonathan, beloved and pleasant in their life, and in their death they were not parted.” (2 Samuel 1:19, 22)
This was the man who had tried to hurt him. But David, even in Saul’s tragic death, honored him. The One who would come in David’s line as the ultimate Savior and Shepherd would echo this type of attitude, even toward our enemies. It would be the unmistakable mark of the new Kingdom.
You did not see Jesus criticizing national leaders, even when they put him to death. He realized there was only One seated on the heavenly throne and that earthly kings were in His hands. He knew His Father carried a higher agenda.
It is the common, national pastime to laugh at and ridicule our leaders. To castigate anyone who disagrees with us and seek to destroy them. To exalt their sins and weakness instead of praying for them (as Paul instructed in 1 Timothy 2). Not so with David.
Because David honored others, others honored him, and, most importantly, God honored him also. It would raise the spiritual and emotional temperature of our nation if we would follow the example of this great king and the ultimate King who “when reviled, reviled not again.” Others may not join us, but Christ followers should begin. As those who know that earthly rulers are in the hands of God, we should follow Christ’s example and show the world the love of Christ.
Father, forgive us for our quick, brazen criticism of others, particularly of those who lead. Forgive us for our lack of grace. Forgive us for not praying for those in positions of leadership. Help us follow Your directives in Matthew 6 and 1 Timothy 2, and show the world a greater kingdom love, and a wiser understanding of the ways of God.
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