Focal Passages: 1 Samuel
24:20-22; 26:1-2, 7-12, 21-25
“What is desired in a man is
loyalty…” (Pro. 19:22a, RSV). Loyalty — now there’s a word you don’t hear used
a lot these days. In our fast-paced, ever-changing world, it almost sounds like
a word from days gone by, doesn’t it?
Oh, there’s loyalty in the
realm of sports, where fans proudly wear their team’s colors. And some die-hard
fans even paint their faces or bodies to show where their loyalties lie!
But the loyalty David showed
to Saul demonstrates a different level of commitment.
Twice in these passages
David spared Saul’s life — even though Saul was relentlessly pursuing David in
order to kill him.
After refusing to take
Saul’s life in a cave in the Desert of En Gedi, David was grief-stricken for
even cutting off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said, “The Lord forbid that I
should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lift my hand
against him; for he is the anointed of the Lord” (24:6 NIV).
And again David refused to
take the life of King Saul when he and Abishai entered Saul’s camp and found
Saul and his army asleep and completely vulnerable to attack.
When Abishai challenged
David to kill Saul, David replied, “Don’t destroy him. Who can lay a hand on
the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless” (26:9 NIV)?
In all of this, David
demonstrated loyalty first of all to God — by refusing to kill one whom God had
anointed as king. Secondly, David showed loyalty to Saul — respecting Saul’s
position as God’s chosen king.
Where did David find this
level of loyalty? In his love for God and in his desire to be obedient to God’s
word, David wrote, “I will sing of loyalty and justice; to thee, O Lord, I will
sing. I will give heed to the way that is blameless” (Ps. 101:1-2a RSV).
If we are to experience the
power and blessings of loyalty that David did, we, too, need to base our
loyalty on our love for God and obedience to His word.
Stop and take inventory of
your own life. How loyal are you in the following areas?
- Loyalty to God (Ex. 20:3)
- Loyalty to spouse (Ex. 20:14)
- Loyalty to friends (Prov.
- Loyalty to the kingdom of
God (Matt. 6:33)
- Loyalty to your job (Col.
“The Lord rewards every man
for his righteousness and faithfulness” (26:23, NIV). God rewarded David for
his loyalty and faithfulness — and He will reward you, too.