David said to him, "How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?" Then David called one of the young men and said, "Go, execute him." And he struck him down so that he died. -- 2 Samuel 1:14-15; English Standard Version
I had one of those conversations recently that should make me feel better, but, in truth, leaves me disgusted. The conversation started like this: "Tim, I wish you were available to pastor our church." (This is where I should have felt better...I guess it was a compliment...I think it was.) The trouble--and here's where the disgust kicks in--was that I knew this person was working against his pastor in their local church. I know that this man, and a small group, were in their own way staging a coup d'tat of their church. Yes, a hostile takeover. I think--and here is some irony (if you know ME at all)--their pastor is preaching the Bible (of all things) from the pulpit and making folks (particularly that small group) uncomfortable (of course--insert dry humor--there is no biblical precedent of God's speakers making people uncomfortable with the truth; Jesus doing it not counting that is, because He's Jesus and that cotton-picking preacher ain't!).
Yes, disgust would describe it. EVEN IF the pastor was not doing a fantastic job; let's say he was (is) a godly man and just needs to grow as a pastor (and needs room and support to do it). I then listened as the man listed all the failings of his pastor (none of which were founded). I smiled. I nodded. I waited. My turn finally came. I said, "Two things: number one, how DARE you lay your proverbial hands against the Lord's anointed; number two, if you want a better pastor, try praying for the one you've got."
Okay...was that rant sufficient enough to get my point across?
David knew the principle well. When King Saul was dogging David's every step David had an opportunity to slay Saul in a cave and David did not do it. His men urged him to do it. David refused. When Saul treated David like an enemy, David treated Saul like a king; more so, David treated Saul like a chosen servant of God. Check the story out yourself in 1 Samuel 24.
We don't spend much time around kings, or do we? According to 1 Peter 2:9 we, who are under the blood, are part of a "royal priesthood". According to Hebrews 3:1 we "share a heavenly calling". I could go on and on. We, who stand IN CHRIST, ARE KINGS UPON THIS EARTH!
Rather than the rough treatment we often offer one another there should be fear and trembling when we think of putting our hands (or mouths) against one of God's chosen people.
Moreover, we ought not to plot against God's called out servants. That's a no-no!
If there is a disagreement among people of the family of faith, much can be learned from David's response; respect them because they belong to the Lord if for no other reason. David was literally hounded by Saul, but David's respect for God motivated his treatment of others. There is much to worthy of emulation in David's example.
Further, David was outraged that someone else treated Saul like this. It would seem that David would be glad that his "enemy" was dead. David never saw Saul as his enemy though. Maybe that's the problem. We treat arguments with The Family like we are arguing with enemies. We can't afford that! I'm not David; I can't order executions...it's a good thing too!
When it comes to God's called out servants, HANDS OFF! When it comes to The Family, HANDS OFF!
If you do lay "hands" on someone, lay hands of love and prayer clothed with kid's gloves. They may deserve something else, but such a one is God's child. Respect them because you respect Him!
Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
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