2 Samuel 2:1-11

            Power is never a neutral thing.  Power is either used to further a personal or special interest group agenda by using its considerable weight, or power is employed for the benefit of others in order to ensure the common good of all.  Ancient kings held nearly absolute power, and many were corrupted by its addictive allure to hold onto it at any cost.  So, when David became the king of Judah he immediately demonstrated why he was going to be a king that applied power differently than most earthly kings.

            The previous king, Saul, had been seduced by power and sought to hold that power by any means possible.  This meant David was a rival and had to go.  A large chunk of chapters in the book of 1 Samuel are given to a cat and mouse act of Saul chasing David, never quite getting ahold of him.  Now Saul is dead, killed in battle.  Any run-of-the-mill new king would act quickly and decisively to consolidate power and snuff out any potential faction to the throne.  But, instead, David’s initial response after Saul’s death was to inquire of the Lord and determine specifically what he should do according to God’s will.

            We should not pass over this detail too quickly because this was an unprecedented disposition for a king to adopt.  King David did not simply make presumptions about what to do.  Not only did David allow the men loyal to the deceased King Saul to live, he blessed them and actively sought to do them good.  This is precisely why David was a man after God’s own heart:  he acted in a manner that reflected the character of God.  God shows steadfast love and faithfulness to people; David showed the same grace and commitment toward others.  God woos people to himself through kindness instead of throwing his weight around and shoving people into the kingdom; David acted deftly and wisely toward others who did not readily acknowledge him as king through blessing instead of misusing his power.

            If we want to be people of influence; if we desire to see the kingdom of God expand; if we seek to have the church grow; then, we must exercise our given power in ways consistent with how King David used his power.  Prayer, discernment, and listening to the Spirit of God are the means of the right use of the resurrection power provided for us.

            Mighty God, you have demonstrated your power in many ways in creating life and giving new life.  I look to you in all things so that my words and actions will reflect your grace and kindness toward everyone I encounter, whether they are for me or against me.  Through the strong name of Jesus I pray.  Amen.

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