Thursday, July 19, 2018
I have found my servant David. I have anointed him with my holy oil. I will steady him with my hand; with my powerful arm I will make him strong. His enemies will not defeat him, nor will the wicked overpower him. I will beat down his adversaries before him and destroy those who hate him. My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him, and by my authority he will grow in power. I will extend his rule over the sea, his dominion over the rivers. And he will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ I will make him my firstborn son, the mightiest king on earth. I will love him and be kind to him forever; my covenant with him will never end. Psalm 89:20-28(NLT)
Once when David was at the rock near the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there. David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem. David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But David refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. “God forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three. 1 Chronicles 11:15-19(NLT)
David was hand-picked by God to be Israel’s leader. From the slingshot/stone-throwing days of his battle with Goliath, to the daily decisions of battle and governing, David was a man of loyalty; he lived in it, and he depended upon it. He also earned it.
There are those who never get it about leadership. A leader is seen at the head table, standing in front of a group, issuing orders or at the head of whatever the group is doing. And sometimes the thought is that a leader has all this fun, and everybody else has to do what he/she says. I must admit it’s easy to see things that way; I’ve been guilty of those thoughts also.
However, over the last 40 years or so, as I have attempted to fulfill leadership roles in a variety of settings, the whole issue of being a leader has proved much different than what leadership looked-like from the outside.
Just a couple of things I’ve learned:
First – loyalty goes both ways. If you are a leader, you must be loyal to those you lead. If you follow, you cannot do so honorably without loyalty. God had promised David the might of heaven’s favor on his kingdom throughout the generations. David’s men; those special soldiers called the Three, understood their king’s loyalty to God was something they could count on. Those who follow with honor will die for a leader like that.
Second – you cannot buy loyalty. As much as the Three were loyal, it was not a matter of money, golden parachute retirement plans, or perks fit for royalty; the privilege of serving a fiercely-loyal king who was committed to truth and fidelity was everything a person of honor needs to know he/she is making a difference in the world.
The Three risked life and limb to bring a drink of well water to their king; can we do less in loyalty for Jesus, the eternal King of Heaven?