Today's Reading: 2 Samuel 1-4
The kingdom is divided. Saul's household is reigning over Israel and David has been named king of the tribe of Judah. As the people try to recover from the death of Saul and Jonathon, political leaders are vying for power. Loyalties are confused. Who is the enemy? Who do we pursue? Who is the comrade in battle? Who can we trust?
While everyone else is confused, David is very clear where he stands. He will not go against the household of Saul, "the LORD's anointed." While everyone else seems to think David would jump at the chance to overpower Saul's descendants in their weak state, David adamantly refuses.
Though Saul pursued David all his life and hoped to kill David, David never raised a hand against Saul or his household. When Saul died, David wept bitterly. When Saul's heir apparent also fell in battle, David did not see this as an opportunity to rejoice but lamented the loss of his dear friend, Jonathan.
During times of strife and transition, loyalties often get confused; when a worker has a new boss, when a new president takes office, when parents are getting a divorce. People connected to the chaotic system feel ill at ease, wondering with whom they should side.
David takes the high road and remains loyal to God and God's appointed leaders. This example is a challenge to most of us. Despite the foolishness of Saul, David never takes Saul's life into his own hands. He continues to do that which God called him to do and does not resort to political games.
I think we can learn something from this example.