January 24: Loyalties

Read 1 Samuel 29:1-30:31

Where did David’s loyalties lie?  Remember that David, out of fear for Saul, had gone with 600 men, their families, their livestock, and their possessions into Philistine territory.  These were the same people group from whom Goliath had come.  These were relatives of the people that David and others had conquered years earlier in the Valley of Elah because they taunted the Israelites and mocked their God.  Yet, now David and his soldiers lived among them.  In fact, he had a very cordial relationship with them and their king, Achish.  Theologians have questioned this move wondering if David had failed to seek God in this decision and had compromised.

But theologians were not the only ones questioning his loyalties and his intentions.  Other Philistines were concerned that he would turn on them in battle.  As a result, David and his men were instructed to return to their residences and families.

But imagine their thoughts as they saw smoke rising on the horizon as they neared their hometown.  Imagine entering to find their wives and children gone.  Imagine the sense of anger that burned within them as they discovered that their livestock and possessions had been taken as well.  Amalekites had invaded and raided Ziklag taking the spoils with them.

Where did David’s loyalties lie?  Clearly with their families.  While homes could be rebuilt, families could not be replaced.  This time he sought the Lord and then pursued the enemy and all they had taken.  With the help of an abandoned Amalekite, they found the enemy and, more importantly, their families and possessions.  Thankfully, they recovered everything!  Nothing was missing.

Where do your loyalties lie?  When it came right down to it, David’s had become clear.  He was loyal to the Lord and to his family.  I am not suggesting that is an exhaustive list of all of David’s priorities.  But clearly, those two were at the top of the list.

What is at the top of your list of loyalties?  For what . . . for whom would you “go to battle?”  I trust that God and family top your list!