1 Samuel 20-24 – I guess I could have called this entry “the Hunter and the Hunted.” The saga of King Saul hunting down his son-in-law David, who is the heir apparent to the throne. It’s almost like a soap opera the way the story unfolds – of course you and I know how the story will end. It follows that after the Holy Spirit was removed off Saul that he acts like a wild insanely jealous man. Saul is consumed with trying to kill David – one cannot help but think of King Herod attempting to eliminate Jesus as the next king. David and Jonathan have such a close bond; Jonathan has chosen David over his father. In the passages this week, there is a continual pursuit of David. Saul assembles his army, at times up to 3000 men to capture/kill David. David is aided by Jonathan to escape from the clutches of the jealous king.
I’m not sure how I would have acted then, but I have been in ministerial situations where people were out to destroy me. Many of you reading this blog really are wondering – surely he has overstated this. Really, out to destroy you?!As unimaginable as this is, not everyone in church is Saved, has a relationship with Jesus. Duh! John 10:10a tells us that the adversary, Thief comes only to seek, kill and destroy. When a person trust by faith in Christ, we gain the power and love of God which is inexhaustible; but we also gain an enemy. You would think that Saul would embrace David for all the fighting and support to Israel against the giants – Philistines? One would think that the Church would support and uplift those who labor for their souls? Nope! Now please, I know there are bad pastors/clergy just like there are bad churches; however this does not give either the right to play the “Gotcha game.” What I mean by this is neither one should be looking to have an advantage over the other. There can be a great chasm between the Pulpit and the Pew, but it shouldn’t be allowed to persist.
I have had to tell so many people in the Church to take the “High Road.” That means we don’t look for advantages to try to destroy or win against our enemies. In fact the Lord Jesus say we are to pray for those who hate us and despitefully abuse us. David finds himself running from Saul, David has his on loyal men to help protect him from Saul. The High Road is a hard road. We can look at taking advantage of an “Upper Hand” when it comes our way – David had the chance to kill Saul in the cave [1 Sam 24, even his men said – Kill the King! David spares Saul’s life. The verses 6-8 about vowing not to lift his hand against the Lord’s anointed, speaks for those in the church that are trying to destroy, get rid of the Pastor. Scripture warns against bringing unfounded accusations against the man of God – only doing so with multiple witnesses.
I wish that churches and clergy would pay attention to Matthew 18, about reconciliation. Go to the one you have issue with – immediately, do not leave a snare for Satan! Even though David knew he was the next King, by the authority of God; he remained a faithful follower. Very interesting, because later David’s own son Absalom will try to usurp the kingdom from him. Lesson here is to be a good leader, you must first be a good follower. I really don’t like conflict, mainly because what I want to do in the situation, isn’t in line with scripture. Romans tells us not to take revenge, but to leave it to the Lord. Man that is hard – I want to be exonerated, I protest – I’m innocent! Yes this may or may not be the case – but it is God who justifies! Job was innocent – yet he did not take matters into his own hands. In conflict many times there is the “band wagon” scenario. This means when someone attacks us, people jump on board and bring all sort of unfounded accusations. Even David had people who “ratted him out” to Saul. [Doeg the Edomite]
Taking the “High Road” in this Cat and Mouse game, being the mouse – is so hard, and you will not be able to do it in your own strength. Proverbs 3:5-7 – Trust in the LORD, lean on Him – don’t try to make sense of it all – it just is the continued battle of the LORD and Satan. You maybe the mouse at times, but NEVER be the CAT!