Saturday, April 11, 2009

Not a Great Man, but a Good Man

When Israel rose up to fight off the Philistines, Ahimelech really didn't know what to do. He was helpless to stop King Saul from offering a disobedient sacrifice, but he stayed loyal. He stood faithfully on the side of King Saul, while Saul's army was deserting him. He remained faithful as David slew the giant, although he was unable to do anything himself. David would later say that Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, but if said that about Ahimelech, it is not recorded. Ahimelech was loyal enough to King Saul that he didn't want to help David, until David deceived him into believing that David was still serving Saul.

Later, under the influence of his evil servant Doeg, King Saul believed that Ahimelech was involved in a conspiracy to murder Saul. And so, King Saul, a leader gone corrupt, faced faithful Ahimelech the priest. He challenged Ahimelech for his lack of loyalty, because Ahimelech had helped David. 

1Sa 22:14 So Ahimelech answered the king and said, "And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, who is the king's son-in-law, who goes at your bidding, and is honorable in your house?

King Saul thought that he spotted disloyalty in Ahimelech when Ahimelech told Saul the truth. The truth was that David was Saul's most loyal servent, who had delivered Saul from the power of an evil spirit, who had delivered Saul from Goliath, and who had smote Saul's enemies everywhere he went. But because Ahimelech didn't tell Saul the lies that King Saul wanted to hear, Saul believed that Ahimelech was disloyal.

Ahimelech was destroyed, but he was destroyed while doing what was right: telling a corrupt leader the truth.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Loyal and Successful

When King Saul became jealous of David, Saul set out to murder him. Jonathan, the son of King Saul, found himself in a difficult situation. It was Jonathan who had delivered Israel from the Philistines before David came along to replace him. But Jonathan appreciated David's victory over Goliath, and recognizing that God was going to make David, not Jonathan, the next king, Jonathan helped David.

In the 1970's, a popular Christian seminar taught that authority is an umbrella of protection that God puts over Christians. But when the umbrella has holes in it, the Christians assigned to be under that umbrella have little that they can do. Thirty years later, I have seen that this is true. When Christian leadership goes bad, the followers are going to have problems.

Jonathan struggled to stay loyal to his father, King Saul. Neither a spineless "yes man" nor a rebel, Jonathan reasoned with Saul and sometimes succeeded in getting Saul and David temporarily reconciled. Eventually, Saul found out that Jonathan was lying, as Jonathan tried to be loyal to both Saul and David. Jonathan was pushed away from leadership, as Saul turned to less Godly "yes men" for help.

Still loyal, however, Jonathan was destroyed with King Saul in a battle with the Philistines. All that remained to Jonathan was his crippled son, who lost all his family's property. Later, after Jonathan was dead, King David (a picture of Christ the King) restored everything that Jonathan had lost, but that didn't change the fact that Jonathan had been destroyed.