By Joanna Irungu
I have been reading the books of Samuel and the story of David has taught me several lessons.
After slaying Goliath (1 Samuel 17), David’s reputation soared. From a humble shepherd boy, he became Saul’s faithful servant (18:5), Jonathan’s covenant friend, and the darling of all Israel and Judah. The Lord was with him in all his undertakings (18:14). All these bred envy in Saul. He hated David and feared him. So he sought to remove this competitor.
Saul was openly hostile toward David. Twice, he threw the spear at David, seeking to murder him. He transferred David from the palace to the army. He also connived to have David killed in the hands of the Philistines by asking for the dowry of 100 Philistine corpses. He even sent guards to waylay David and assassinate him. When all this failed, he declared David an outlaw. David had to flee. When David escaped to the wilderness, Saul brought his soldiers to pursue after him. Imagine David’s new status. From an esteemed military commander, he suddenly became a fugitive with Interpol after him.
One time Saul went to rest in the very same cave that David and his men were in. David’s men advised him to slay the man who wanted him dead saying, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you’ ” (1 Samuel 24:4 esv). David cut off Saul’s robe and immediately regretted his action. David said to his men that he could not go against the Lord’s anointed. He honored Saul as the Lord’s appointed leader until the very end (2 Samuel 1 and 4).
God appoints leaders (Proverbs 8:15-16) and He directs their hearts to do His will (21:1). So “let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1). It is our Christian duty to respect our leaders, pray for them and honor our responsibilities as citizens (Luke 20:25). They may not be just, honest or faithful in their duties but God uses political leaders and governments for His purposes.
Christianity does not destroy civility and good manners; it teaches us to give honor to whom honor is due (Romans 13:7). We recognize that it is GOD, not earthly rulers, who has ultimate authority over world politics. So don’t fret; God is in control.