Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 23: 8-17
Have you ever done something way beyond yourself for someone and didn’t get the appreciation and recognition you expected? Like going out of your way to create an incredible surprise moment for your spouse and then she just texts you ‘ok, noted’ where you were expecting some love and gratitude lines from Jupiter or Mars.
Imagine being one of David’s mighty men in our reading today. You basically overheard the king saying with longing about how he would love to drink water from the well in your enemy’s camp. You risked your life and broke into the camp to get him the water to drink and sent it in to the King through one of the palace servants. I can imagine David’s men refreshing their social media pages every minute, eagerly waiting to see what David will post about it. You’d be waiting on getting tagged with some incredible words and commendation.
But nothing comes up. Instead, you randomly hear a palace guard mention about how he saw the king pour the water in the gutter.
But I think there’s some really powerful lessons for us to consider off that story as it relates to where we are and the season ahead of us.
I think loyalty is a word that is becoming increasingly pushed towards extinction in the day we live, but God wants us to live our lives bringing it back to the centre stage.
There is so much disloyalty in our world- in marriages and relationships, in work places, in families, in churches, even in soccer club following…
Disloyalty will undermine and waste away the weight of the call and purpose of God over your life. Disloyalty will cheat you of God possibilities. God cannot bless disloyalty! God cannot express the weight of His plan and purpose through disloyal channels.
As I read about David’s men and how they broke through the Philistines camp to get David water, I think it is a spirit we must all be desiring and crying for God to work in us. We must be greatly desiring to be those kind of followers, subordinates, employees, or children, who go the extra mile because of the honour we give our leadership. This was more than meeting demands or fulfilling requests- this was simply a case of stretching themselves to fulfil their leadership’s undemanded longing!
I think we must rediscover subordinate loyalty in our day and age. Being in positions God has put us is not so we spend all our time looking for how to outsmart and outplace our leaders. It’s amazing how much time and energy subordinates channel into stressful things for leaders, rather than simply serving. God doesn’t expect us to be creating thirst for our leaders, but rather to be serving in such a way that we bring the water for their thirst.
And this is not a question of whether you’ll be there for the next thirty years. This is a question of where you are right now. Even if God is going to create a shift, you should be loyal right until you are no longer there.
But I think that’s one side of the story.
The other side of the story is from leadership. As we see David pouring the water away, it is a big statement of a leader who says he will never because of his thirst or desire, take advantage of the people entrusted to Him.
I think leadership loyalty is also greatly missing in our day and age. This is not just about some political leaders in government houses. This is about people who have the privilege of authority and influence. From parents to elder siblings, from bosses at work to officers on duty around vulnerable people (include gatemen when you need them to give information about the MD’s availability), leadership loyalty is rare.
Leadership loyalty protects the people we have influence over. It considers them strongly. It honours them. It refuses to drink the water they risked their lives to fetch. Loyal leaders are not ruled by their thirst or desire. They are not ruled by their emotions or their smallness. They look to the long term, not just immediate gratification.
True to it, leadership loyalty is rare.
I believe that God calls us to change the narrative! I believe that we can live with high-level loyalty in all directions. I believe that by the empowerment of the Grace of God, we can be stretching beyond ourselves to be faithful to the people that God has put in our lives.
Do you wonder why David was blessed with such mighty men and why God fought for him to see that He never lost His Kingdom to deviants? And do you wonder why David’s men were blessed with such a leader that transformed them from miserable debtors and destitutes into mighty giant-killing men. Enter the key word: loyalty. In all directions.
If we will refocus our loyalty, it will create the right atmosphere for God to prosper His purpose in and through us.