Saturday, December 31, 2011

Who Would You Want?

This is a photograph of Churchill waving to crowds of Londoners he was leading during World War II.

Who would you want for followers?  Your goal is beyond surviving, and powerful people are after everything you have, even your life.  Who do you want backing you up?

David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men. And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me. (1 Samuel 22:1-3 KJV)

What’s your initial thought when someone says “David”? For me, family comes to mind (of course!) first.  Then, King David.  Followed a bit by Goliath, Jonathon, Saul, Bathsheba, Solomon – things from King David’s life. I visualize him as a shepherd boy with a slingshot.  I see him as a harpist in Saul’s court, soothing the king’s spirit with music. I think of his friendship, his commitments – the bits and pieces of Jewish history.  I think of Samuel’s description of David as he spoke to Saul:

But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee. (1 Samuel 13:14 KJV)

Yet, here he is, leader of “… every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented.” Too many D words, and none of them dynamic!

Are these the people you would accept as supporters?  Look at our own political candidates – if they were voters, they certainly would not be turned away.  But, to have the entire campaign contingent on distressed and discontented debtors? Wouldn’t fill the coffers, would it?

But, it worked. Those D people followed a man looking for what God had in mind for him. He asked them to follow him “… till I know what God will do for me.”

He took physical care of his family and followers, taking them to Moab, once home to his great-grandmother Ruth. We might assume that he spent time in prayer, as evidenced from his Psalms.  We do know that he listened to God’s messenger, and responded to the message:

And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth. (1 Samuel 22:5 KJV)

If God can take distressed discontented debtors and build a kingdom, why aren’t we listening to Him, too?

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