“I Have Issues – Divided Loyalties”
By Rev. Greg Smith
Then David arose and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish king of Gath.
(1 Samuel 21:10 NASB)Have you ever been in so much trouble that you didn’t know where to turn? When Saul sought David’s life, David turned to his friend Jonathan for help (1 Sam 20). He also received assistance from some priests at Nob (1 Sam 21). Those priests allowed David to eat consecrated bread, to participate in the sacred. But then, in the second part of chapter 21, we see a very different side of David. Carrying Goliath’s sword as a trophy—the one David had used to cut off the giant’s own head—David marched himself into Gath, the Philistine’s hometown. That sounds pretty crazy, doesn’t it?
Even crazier, David went to Acish, the king of Gath, to ask for asylum from Saul. In order to convince Acish to give him shelter from Saul’s wrath, David feigned insanity, letting saliva dribble down his beard and scribbling on doors. Probably, the king thought that since David had been close to Saul, he could extract intelligence from the insane man and learn Saul’s secrets. So, he let David stay.
Too often believers find the Christian life difficult, and they turn aside from their appointed path. Temptations get the best of them, and they leave their anointing behind. Living in fear rather than faith, they choose to play it safe, even running into the enemy’s camp for shelter. Christians might do this when they reach for a bottle instead of God, for comfort. Or, they might visit chat rooms and develop unhealthy fantasy relationships, rather than finding intimacy with their spouse. When Christians forget who they truly are in Christ, they begin to act just like their enemy, the devil, wants them to. Their lives become depraved, lacking faith or conviction.
David’s desire for physical security led to divided loyalties that could have (perhaps should have) jeopardized his position as future king of Israel. In 1 Samuel 27, David not only stays as a guest in Acish’s house, but receives a home in Philistine territory. From there, he makes raids on Philistine enemies, including Judah, killing men and women alike, just to impress the Philistine king who has given him sanctuary.
The story goes that a young man in the army confided in his pastor that he never dated any girls other than his girlfriend—as long as he was within fifty miles of home.[i] I wonder, how far does your loyalty go? James 1:6b-8 (NLT) says, “Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
This Lenten season, as you ask God to show you your hidden faults, consider where your loyalties lie. Have you sought comfort and shelter from the enemy of your soul? Have you acted like something other than the child of God that you are? Has depravity taken over your life? Seek restoration today, and become a man or woman after God’s own heart.
[i] Source unknownS
[i] Source unknownS