Monday, April 11, 2011

Loyal to the End

"'Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.'  But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it" (1 Samuel 31:4).

Saul, the first king of Israel was in the fight of his life.  It was a fight that he already knew he would lose, but here it was.  His sons were dead.  Any hope that he had clung to that his sons would succeed him as king was now gone.  He had been critically wounded and his insecurities had risen one last time as he pleaded with his armor-bearer to kill him. The armor-bearer refused.

An armor bearer's greatest skill was that of loyalty.  He was the closest to the king in battle and could easily take advantage of him when his back was turned.  The king trusted the armor-bearer with his life, to always protect him and to the best of his ability, to preserve his life.  What the king was asking was contrary to who the armor-bearer was to be.  Even in the end, the armor bearer was loyal, refusing to take advantage of an insecure, already defeated king.  No matter what graces he might have found in the eyes of David, the anointed successor, he knew he could not betray his king.

Loyalty has become a decreasing character trait in our society.  People tend to look after themselves more than looking out after others.  God has called us to not only submit to those that are in leadership above us, but gift them with our trust, our respect, and our loyalty.  Our bosses, our teachers, our parents, our spouses, should never have to worry about looking over their backs to see if we're going to take advantage of a situation.  Even when they're wrong, our loyalty is to be with the one that God has put in leadership over us.  The Bible gives clear direction and instruction on how to confront those who are living outside of Godly principles, but we are never to take that as blank check to be disrespectful, disloyal, or divisive.

How would you rank your own loyalty?  Would those that you are loyal to, or should be loyal to, agree?  Do they feel as though they can trust you?  Have you communicated to them that you can be trusted, that you "have their back," that even when you disagree, they can still count on you?  Are you an armor-bearer that would never take advantage, even when it might appear to advance you?  And, when you are in an environment of a non-God honoring leader, or one who is given to insecurity, or one that you have a hard time respecting, don't underestimate the power of prayer.  The greatest act of loyalty, is to lift them up in prayer.  For God still has the power to soften the heart of a 'king.'


Robyn said...

I'm all over this for my husband, as every ministry wife should be. It's harder in my secular job, though, and I have to fight the temptation to join in the negative conversation about my leader, true that it may be. I am even trying to find respectful ways to not even LISTEN to the gossip, and it's not easy. Thank you for this encouraging word, PC.

macm219 said...

This is a word that everyone should take to heart and read over and over. Thank you so much for posting this.