HONORING OUR LEADERS

April 13, 2020

HONORING OUR LEADERS


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’S OPPRESSION

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.

DAVID’S HONOR

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’S SONG

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.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’
39 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
40 “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
41 “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
42 “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

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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